Celebrating Amtrak's 50th Anniversary

The Future Rides with Us

Since 1971, Amtrak has been America’s Railroad, connecting friends and families across the country to the places they want to go. As we celebrate our 50th Anniversary, we welcome you to join us as we honor our past and look toward our future.

On May 1, 1971, when the first Amtrak train rolled out of New York City en route to Philadelphia, no one could have imagined what lied ahead. Yet, here we are today with more than 17,000 dedicated employees and a national system connecting more than 500 destinations across 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian provinces, on more than 21,400 miles of routes.

We continue to make incredible investments in the customer experience. And the best is yet to come. Amtrak has a bold vision for the future of rail that includes investing in new equipment, reimagining our stations, modernizing vital rail infrastructure, leveraging new technology, combating climate change and expanding service to enhance the mobility of more Americans.

At 50, we are just getting started.

The future rides with us.

Amtrak: 50 Years of Leading the Way

For 50 years, Amtrak has made passenger rail service accessible to communities all across America — both large and small. Take a look at our five decades of investments in innovation, safety, service, sustainability and to the communities we serve. Then see what we are doing to fulfill our commitment to safe, reliable and state-of-the-art rail service in the 21st century.

1970s


Amtrak ushers in a new era of passenger rail travel in the U.S.

More from the 1970s

1980s


Modernization and innovation bring new routes, station improvements and enhanced safety initiatives.

More from the 1980s

1990s


Amtrak invests in new equipment and safety upgrades that power the railroad while bringing jobs and opportunities to communities across America.

More from the 1990s

2000s


Amtrak demonstrates the critical role it plays in supporting the nation’s 21st century transportation infrastructure.

More from the 2000s

2010s


With continued investments in sustainable technologies and equipment to reduce its carbon footprint, Amtrak continues to be a leader in eco-friendly travel.

More from the 2010s

2020s


Amtrak continues to lead the way in safety innovations, sustainability initiatives and a commitment to helping people discover the joy of experiencing America by rail.

More from the 2020s

50th Anniversary Celebration Event, Philadelphia, PA

Watch our celebration event from April 30, 2021, as we look back at 50 years of America's Railroad and look toward the future of passenger rail. The future rides with us — from our dedicated employees to our loyal riders.

An Influential 50 Years

Amtrak takes great pride in its innovative advancements in rail travel safety and sustainability, as well as its contribution to the economic vitality of the communities it serves.

50th Anniversary Graphic Photo Wall

See the winning designs from talented student artists.

Celebrating the Past, Looking To the Future

As we honor and commemorate our first 50 years, we're looking to the future and its next half-century of service.

Celebrating 50 Years with J. Craig Thorpe

Nationally recognized artist J. Craig Thorpe graciously celebrates our anniversary through art.

Committed to Sustainability

We're actively taking steps to improve our environmental impact.

Wishes Past and Future

We truly value partnering with Make-A-Wish to help make wishes come true.

Amtrak Trivia

Test your knowledge about our history, stations and services.

Celebrate with Commemorative Amtrak 50th Merch

Shop store.amtrak.com for the latest and greatest Amtrak merchandise, featuring new 50th Anniversary items sure to satisfy a variety of tastes. From collectibles to pet gifts, and retro wearables to huggable plush locomotives, we’ve got something for everyone. Item selection and availability is subject to change, so don’t delay and get your merch today.

Shop the Store

Celebrate with Commemorative Amtrak 50th Merch

Shop store.amtrak.com for the latest and greatest Amtrak merchandise, featuring new 50th Anniversary items sure to satisfy a variety of tastes. From collectibles to pet gifts, and retro wearables to huggable plush locomotives, we’ve got something for everyone. Item selection and availability is subject to change, so don’t delay and get your merch today.

Shop the Store

Collectible 50th Anniversary Pins

To commemorate Amtrak’s 50th anniversary, we are randomly distributing collectible pins to our stations and crew bases to celebrate the changes in our locomotives over the years. There are a total of six different locomotive pins, each representing a different era of Amtrak.

Lucky customers may be surprised with a special 50th anniversary pin by Amtrak employees in the stations or onboard trains. Complete sets of all 6 pins are available for sale at Amtrak.com/Store for $35 for a limited time.

Pins are available on a first-come, first-served basis, one per customer per visit. Not all employees will have pins.

Collectible 50th Anniversary Pins

To commemorate Amtrak’s 50th anniversary, we are randomly distributing collectible pins to our stations and crew bases to celebrate the changes in our locomotives over the years. There are a total of six different locomotive pins, each representing a different era of Amtrak.

Lucky customers may be surprised with a special 50th anniversary pin by Amtrak employees in the stations or onboard trains. Complete sets of all 6 pins are available for sale at Amtrak.com/Store for $35 for a limited time.

Pins are available on a first-come, first-served basis, one per customer per visit. Not all employees will have pins.

50 Reasons to Travel

See Majestic Landscapes and Awe-Inspiring Views

Whether exploring majestic American landscapes or touring cities great and small, there’s no better way to see the country than through the views from our windows. Sit back. Relax. Plug in or unwind. On Amtrak, the reasons to travel are endless. With over 500 destinations, you can visit our national parks, soak in the local culture of a nearby community, reach the beach or visit with family and friends. Need a reason to travel? Here are 50 to start you on your journey.

See the Reasons

Special Fares for Everyone