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It’s National Train Day tomorrow and what a great day to salute and appreciate this country’s train service and especially our Empire Builder right here on the Hi Line. I feel that we are more than blessed to live in a community that’s located right on the main line of Amtrak. Think about it. We have TWO passenger trains a day, one to the west coast that leaves around 5:15 in the afternoon just in time to enjoy the rocky mountains and Glacier National Park before the sun sets this summer. And there’s the eastbound which leaves Shelby every morning around 11:40. I just talked to Ric, the affable agent down at Shelby-Amtrak and he tells me that every three months Amtrak-Shelby loads and unloads anywhere from 2500 to 2700 passengers! If you’ve never ridden the rails, you don’t know what you are missing. Give Ric a call, he’s a really helpful and more than caring in booking your trips. Try flying these days and outside of the “time factor” in getting there, I don’t think you can compare the two. Talk about leg room, comfort, great meals, and the affable Amtrak staff here in Shelby and on down the line, and I don’t think you can beat train travel. Mark Mag-lee-air-ee (that’s how you pronounce his last name) will join me on the Puffman Show this afternoon long distance live from Amtrak headquarters in Chicago at 4:30 to share what National Train Day is all about along with some interesting, entertaining, and fun facts about the Empire Builder. As I like to say, “when you live out here on the plains, you can always depend on the trains”. Gladys Knight from Gladys Knight & the Pips will be riding the rails tomorrow and serving as the national spokeswoman and host for festivities in Washington DC. Knight says she’s a fan of traveling by train and trains have planed a role in her career. “Midnight Train to Georgia” was originally “Midnight Plane to Houston” but Knight and the Pips asked for the name change. All aboard for National Train Day all day long tomorrow, Saturday. And by the way, the train doesn’t make you take your shoes off if you don’t want to. Actually, you can take them off if you wish and leave them off for the whole trip. Now, that’s pretty nice!

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