Sugar Creek Arts 3

Uptown Station served as a background Saturday, July 7, 2012 for the Sugar Creek Arts Festival in Norma. The facility will be dedicated and opened for business this weekend. (The Pantagraph, David Proeber)

NORMAL — The 40-year history of Amtrak will be on display Saturday in a special Exhibit Train that will be open for tours after the dedication of Uptown Station.

Exhibit Train was created last year for Amtrak’s anniversary, and made 40 stops around the country. The train has three cars: one depicting the 1970s; the second, the 1980s; and the third, the 1990s and 2000s.

A timeline and system map shows changes over 40 years. There also are metal train horns, restored equipment and a collection of HO-scale model trains. The 1970s uniform of a former Amtrak employee is displayed on a mannequin. The 1970s car also includes a vignette showing two people at an onboard breakfast table.

There also are photo displays and other memorabilia.

Amtrak is bringing “Chuggington Depot” to Gateway Plaza, between Uptown Station and the Children’s Discovery Museum. The depot features characters from the popular train-based television series for preschoolers.

“Chuggington Depot” will have a variety of train-themed activities, including a play table with die-cast trains, a coloring mural and story time.

Amtrak also has hired a Twin City company, Contemporary Visuals, to produce a video about Uptown Station and its economic impact on uptown, Magliari said. Filming will take place Friday and Saturday.

The video will be available on Amtrak’s YouTube site and will be taken around the country to show other communities along the Amtrak line what can happen when such an investment is made, he said.

Dedication ceremony

What: Dedication of Uptown Station

When: 10 a.m. Saturday

Where: Uptown Station, 11 Uptown Circle, Normal

Other activities: Uptown Station tours, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; outdoor activities, Children’s Discovery Museum, pinwheels and bubbles 11 a.m.-2 p.m., face painting 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; museum opens at noon with half-priced admission; tours of Amtrak’s Exhibit Train, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Amtrak “Chuggington Depot,” Gateway Plaza, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.


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