ALTON - Families were invited to the Amtrak train station on College Ave. Tuesday afternoon for a free day of fun. 

The second annual Train Day was held at the station as the result of a partnership between the Alton Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and Amtrak. Several volunteers also came to the event to display their model trains. 

"It's really an event for the kids," Amtrak Sales and Marketing representative Tamara Sehl said. "It brings awareness to all the cool things happening in Alton. Amtrak is happy to be a part of the community. Alton CVB is a great partner." 

Stephanie Tate, of the Alton CVB, said this year's event had already seen 500 visitors by noon. The event lasted from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday. She said that number was significantly more than the 300 attendees they had in 2015. 

"The event took off and got a life of its own," Tate said. "People really love trains." 

Richard Slemick, who displayed his model train set at the event, probably likes trains more than anybody. He proudly displayed his model set, which featured assorted Disney characters including Mickey Mouse and his trusty dog Pluto. 

"The engine is from the 1930s," he said. "The rest of the cars are from the 1970s. They asked me to bring something, so I brought this for the kids." 

Slemick has been a major part of hosting a large model train show every year at the Alton Masonic Lodge, which brings train collectors from all over the Midwest to share in the fun and festivities. 

Amtrak also donated two free round trip tickets from Alton to Chicago to the event. Those tickets were given away via a raffle at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Children were also given junior conductors guidebooks, crayons and hats by Amtrak. 

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Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at cory@riverbender.com

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