National Train Day is a holiday started by Amtrak to celebrate the important role trains have played in American history. It is celebrated on the Saturday closest to May 10th, the date that marked the opening of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869. This railroad permanently changed the way that people and goods travelled across the country. Before trains moving around meant taking long and arduous journeys across a landscape that was often quite unwelcoming. Today trains are still an important part of the way goods are transferred in the USA. They are also still used for travel and National Train Day is all about promoting the benefits of this kind of travel as opposed to car and airplane travel.