From a train engineer’s talk to tours of a mid-century railroad depot, area residents will have a chance to observe National Train Day along tracks — both in service and out — in Lawrence.
Leaders of Depot Redux have organized two events for Saturday, the day marked by Amtrak for events nationwide in celebration of rail travel:
• Steam engine talk: Gary Knudsen, an engineer for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, will give a short presentation tailored for children, and it includes explanations of the unique features of such engines. The presentation will be at 10 a.m. at the old “1073” steam engine in Watson Park, near Seventh and Kentucky streets.
• Station tour: The Lawrence Amtrak Station will be open for tours led by supporters of Depot Redux, an organization formed to protect, preserve and improve the property that was built in 1955 for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway and is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the station, 413 E. Seventh St.
• Live music: Megan Hurt and Darrell Lea, followed by Pete Haack and Friends, will perform from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the station.
• Project update, talk: Depot Redux supporters will discuss progress on efforts to restore the depot, followed by a presentation — “The Hometown Depot in American Life” — delivered by railroad historian Peter Hansen, author of “Railroad History.” Hansen will speak at 3 p.m. at the station.
• Drawing: A $5 donation to Depot Redux gives donors a chance to win two round-trip tickets to Chicago on Amtrak. Donations will be accepted from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the station, and the drawing is set for 3:30 p.m.; donors must be present to win.
National Train Day celebrates the 141 years since the May 10, 1869, driving of the “golden spike” in Utah, an event that joined the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways and formed the first transcontinental railroad.