National Train Day celebrated in Rutland - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

National Train Day celebrated in Rutland

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Today is National Train Day. And, in Rutland, it was all about getting those who say train travel is inconvenient or outdated to take a second look at getting around by rail.

Noah Bruttomesso and dozens of other kids played with a model train display during National Train Day at the Downtown Rutland train station Saturday. Hundreds came out to enjoy activities that were fun for the whole family like riding a Thomas the Tank Engine mini train, arts and crafts, and a tour through a display train.

"We came down to see the trains and wanted to bring these little guys to show all the fun stuff they have going on," said parent Rick Kuehl.

But it wasn't all fun and games at the event. State leaders hoped to send a strong message about the mode of transportation that some say was abandoned in the 50s and 60s. They think by encouraging Vermonters to travel together by train, they can reduce travel by car and help the environment.

"Almost half of the greenhouse gas is released in Vermont comes from our transportation and most of them are from single occupancy vehicles." said Transportation Secretary Brian Searles.

Train use in Vermont is strong and growing. The latest report from Amtrak shows over 100,000 people got on and off trains in Vermont in 2013. That's up 4% from the year prior. Amtrak officials say there is always room to improve routes and make train travel easier.

People don't take trains when we don't make it convenient for them to take trains - where we have frequent service, we have lots of passengers, where we have infrequent service, we have less," said Amtrak spokesperson Bob LeCroix.

The Thomas the Tank Engine train at National Train Day was packed with passengers. Small train enthusiasts who think trains are fun.

"Because they go fast!" Said Bruttomesso.

Getting Vermonters of all ages excited and educated about train travel.

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