Meridian, Miss. The Railfest and the Soule Steam Festival kicked off this weekend.
Thousands of train enthusiast and fans flocked to Union Station to enjoy all the trains. People came from all over; many arrived on the Amtrak #20 train. There was plenty to do from tours of the special exhibit train, to admiring massive model train sets that were on display
"I've been at Railfest for the last several years, being a Mississippi native, I make sure I’m here every year," Todd Stennis, Director of Government Affairs, says. "It’s been consistent all day long. We've had a steady flow of people coming on board the train looking at the exhibits as well as looking at our veteran’s locomotives. The weather is outstanding, you couldn't have better weather."
The Amtrak exhibit train tours the country and serves as Amtrak's time capsule showing off where the company has been and where it is going. Steve Ostrowski, an Amtrak engineer who travels with the exhibit train, explains a little about the train and just how many people have come to see it.
"Our exhibit train here travels around the country showcasing Amtrak’s 40 years of history," Steve Ostrowski says. "After the 40 year, we remade this train to be part museum and part railroading 101. Today alone, we've had probably 2,000 people come through, we've had about 25 thousand so far this year."
Just across from Railfest was the Soule Steam Fest where hundreds enjoyed the many working steam engines that were on display. The Soule Steam Festival takes place on the first weekend of November every year.