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Amtrak train exhibit to visit Longview

By Special to the News-Journal
March 24, 2012 at 11 p.m.

Longview will roll out the tracks to the city's historical links to the railroad with the 40th Anniversary Amtrak Exhibit Train and various related activities April 27 to 29.

Amtrak is celebrating 40 years as America's railroad with a special exhibit train that has toured the country, said Dietrich Johnson, Longview's community services coordinator.

The free exhibit showcases rail travel over the decades, displaying memorabilia such as vintage advertising, menus and dinnerware, period uniforms and photographs.

City Councilwoman Kasha Williams said Longview is one of the few Texas cities to host the exhibit train.

The event will be at the Longview Junction Train Depot, 905 Pacific Ave. The exhibit is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., April 28 and 29.

An opening ceremony for the exhibit train and a groundbreaking for the Longview Junction Train Depot restoration project will begin at 10 a.m. April 27.

An education day for area schoolchildren will be April 27 in the exhibit train. Other children's events include the "Chuggington Depot," featuring the popular children's television series.

Other activities will include entertainment, music and vendors, Johnson said.

Parking is limited at the train depot, so visitors are encouraged to park at the downtown parking lots on Cotton Street between High and Fredonia streets. Free shuttles will be provided on Saturday and Sunday between the parking lots and the train depot.

In the 1870s, the site was home to the junction of the Texas & Pacific and the International & Great Northern Railroad tracks, Johnson said. Over time, churches, residences, hotels, restaurants and businesses developed in the area around the junction. The building, at 905 Pacific Avenue, was constructed in 1940.



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