Passenger Train Advocates:
I’m pleased to announce the creation of a website devoted to the Empire Builder: www.ebtrain.net
With all the chaos surrounding current Amtrak management, it probably couldn’t come at a more opportune time!
This will not be the same as a Facebook or Yahoogroups situation but rather a real interactive website covering all aspects of what makes the train tick. The primary focus, of course, must be advocacy, and there’s already a link to determine who the appropriate elected officials are that can be accessed through a zip code. Beyond that, however, there is a “station” section with a page for all 46 stations. The goal here will be to designate a representative (or representatives) for each community that will be granted administrative access to the site so that he/she/they can add content. Content will include local elected officials, as well as travel information such as hotels, transit, rental cars, and tourist attractions. The site will also feature updates about threats and opportunities to the train of which there are an extraordinary number right now.
If anyone has any ideas or could suggest a representative at any of the on-line cities, please let me know. We’re also looking for photos of each station and the Empire Builder all along the route. The photos are, more or less, window dressing, but that’s what is needed in today’s environment to capture attention, unfortunately. And, also we’re open to suggestions with regard to things to add to the site. Ideally, the site will be “all things Empire Builder” including a forum and historical information. Historical information is an important consideration with the Empire Builder, named for James J. Hill, whose railroad helped settle the American Northwest and was the primary driver in the creation of Glacier National Park. The legacy of the “Empire Builder” – both the person and the train – is a great reminder to Americans about the importance of railroads – and passenger trains – to the country even today.
This is site is being developed with the assistance of the Rail Passengers Association, a nationwide passenger train advocacy group.