Updated 03/17/2012 05:54 PM
Amtrak celebrate 40 years of service at transit museum
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SPENCER—Thousands of people are joining Amtrak in celebrating four decades of travel.
Amtrak's exhibit train has been making stops all around the country for the past 10 months showcasing it's history. The exhibit train is making some of its final stops in the Carolinas.
"You could show pictures, you could show films, but this is the real thing,"said Executive Director at the N.C. Transportation Museum Sam Wegner.
Visitors walked through three cars filled with 40 years of Amtrak's evolution, from its uniforms and dining options to its interiors and engines.
"They bring back great memories,"said retired train engineer Ronnie Shoe. Shoe said the exhibit sparks vivid memories of his many miles on the tracks.
"I see little engines I operated when I did work for Amtrak," said Shoe.
This is the train's second stop in North Carolina. Its visit at the state's busiest Amtrak station in Raleigh brought out more than 3,000 people. Many of them part of the rail service's growing ridership, with a record-breaking 30 million passengers last year nationwide.
"We've broken it eight of the last nine years, and we certainly don't see a change in that trend at this point and time," said Director of Government Affairs for Amtrak Todd Stennis.
Amtrak ridership in North Carolina was up 12 percent in fiscal year 2011 from the previous year, with just over 900,000 served around the state at 16 stations. The train's next stop is in Charleston, SC.
To see a full list of the stops, visit the website