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National Train Day: City of Aiken celebrates railroad history

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 5:55 PM EDT
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - National Train Day is coming up, and the city of Aiken is celebrating.

They’re hosting an event on Saturday with rides, games, and live music. The event is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It’s about more than just having fun. Trains also hold an important spot in Aiken’s history.

“Aiken would not be what it is today if it wasn’t for railroads,” said Jenson Jennings, the city’s tourism coordinator.

There’s railroad history all over Aiken’s Visitor’s Center. A visitor’s center housed inside a rebuilt train depot.

“It was really a way that we could pay homage to the past and also a way to connect it to the current day,” he said.

Jennings says trains have an important part in Aiken’s history. The founder of Aiken used to be a railroad president.

In the late 1800s, people from the north would take their horses down the railroad for the winter.

“On average, 1000 horses would pass through Aiken each year. At that time that’s an immense amount of horses to be moved by rail,” he said.

Now the city is getting ready to celebrate all this railroad history with an event on National Train Day.

“I hope people come out and enjoy the history, but it also sparks their imagination,” said Jennings.

It’ll be a day full of history, rides, music, and more. Jennings says this is the biggest event of the year for the tourism department.

“It really is a great way for us to show what Aiken is all about,” he said.

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