Autumn Care in Saluda celebrates National Train Day

Published 3:04 pm Thursday, May 13, 2010

When you talk about Saluda, trains usually come up in the conversation pretty early. So, it only made sense for the residents at Autumn Care of Saluda to celebrate National Train Day on Thursday, May 8.

National Train Day celebrates Americas love for trains with events across the country. The celebration marks 141 years of connecting travelers coast to coast and commemorates the day the first transcontinental railroad was created. On May 10, 1869, in Promontory Summit, Utah, the golden spike was driven into the final tie that joined 1,776 miles of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways, transforming America by creating the nations first transcontinental railroad.

The Saluda Grade is famous for being the steepest standard gauge main line railroad grade in the U.S. As part of Autumns celebration, residents saw a movie detailing the effort needed to take a coal train down the Saluda Grade. I didnt realize there was so much involved in running a train, noted Damian Alexander.

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And of course it wouldnt be a train celebration without little boys playing with trains. As soon as we put out the track, the residents jumped in and starting putting it together, said Glenn Pierce, Autumn Care Administrator. It just proved the old saying about little boys and their toys. Theres always a little bit of kid in us.

Nearly everyone in the group had a story about the toy train they had as a child. Allen Jones told about riding the Southern Railroad train from Tryon to Saluda in the third grade. We got off the train in Saluda and had a big picnic before getting back on board and heading down the mountain, Jones said. Several men talked of train travels they had made around the country, while others told of riding the rails in England and France during World War II.

The biggest challenge the group faced was keeping the train on the track! I think the next time well have to get bigger trains, said Pierce. We were all struggling to see those tiny wheels.

Autumn Care of Saluda is a rehabilitation and skilled nursing center in Saluda, NC. For more information call the facility at 828-749-2261 or visit their website at