Americans have had a love affair with trains since 1826 when they watched England develop their rail system. By 1831, the first U.S. railroad, the Mohawk and Hudson, began operating. I can only imagine the excitement people had as they watched the huge steam locomotive charge down the tracks, plumes of steam filling the air. Now you can experience the magic of rail travel all over again when you hop aboard Amtrak's Texas Eagle at the new Hope, Ark. station!

But where can you go aboard this awesome train? The Texas Eagle rockets toward tons of amazing destinations, including Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, San Antonio and even as far away as Los Angeles. Check out the map below to see all the other towns and cities you can visit between the Windy City and the City of Angels.

Amtrak

But wait, have you ever taken a train ride before? Is your experience with trains limited to those you've watched while waiting at a railroad crossing or perhaps those miniature locomotives you played with as a child? Then watch the two videos below to catch a glimpse of the sights you might see aboard the Texas Eagle and a tour of what a sleeping car is like!

It looks like a fun ride, doesn't it? So what are you waiting for? The next time you want to take a trip with your family, or even get away on your own, visit the Amtrak website and order your tickets!

And in case you need a little more encouragement to take a great train adventure, enter our Escape To Chicago Aboard The Texas Eagle Contest and you could win two round trip tickets from Hope to Chicago and two-nights lodging at the Holiday Inn Downtown! Now you have no excuse not to get out of Texarkana and take in the sights and sounds of one of my favorite American cities, magnificent Chicago!

All aboard!!!