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PORTLAND Thousands of people turned out to celebrate National Train Day in Portland Saturday.

With sky-high gas prices, transportation officials have said trains might be among the country s most energy-efficient options in the future.

Trains helped build the country and their history was celebrated at Portland s Union Station.

It was a rare chance to see Portland s historic trains. But soon they'll be on display for everyone to enjoy, at a new museum across the street from The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

Even downpours didn't dampen the interest in national treasures that were brought out of storage for National Train Day.

I love these old trains, enthusiast Steve Tillotson said.

The Daylight 4449 carried passengers at more than 100 mph between Los Angeles and San Francisco in the 1940s. It s one of the historic trains that will be featured at the new rail museum.

We ll be right there next to OMSI, with a million plus visitors a year, said Oregon Rail Heritage Museum Volunteer Arlene Sheldrake. And we think we can add to that experience for them down there.

The Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation has purchased the property and made the plans. The groundbreaking is expected sometime this summer.

I think it's really great, Tillotson said. I'm really looking forward to seeing it. Soon!

Trains helped build the western United States and transportation experts are again looking to trains for the future.

We are using trains and mass transit more, said engineer Mark Kramer. And I think as we build the infrastructure it's the way to go.

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