Ride Like an Egyptian

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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In 1985, The Bangles released their Billboard number one single Walk Like an Egyptian. In 2022, Amtrak, as the official transportation partner for Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience, a new exhibition produced in partnership with the National Geographic Society, is offering passengers and history buffs the chance to ride like (or to) an Egyptian to Washington, D.C., or Boston “to experience the magic and mystery of ancient Egypt.”

Amtrak is calling its promotion Take the Train to Tut, and through Sept. 30 is operating a specially-wrapped Siemens ACS-64 electric locomotive in Northeast Regional service on the Northeast Corridor between Washington, D.C., and Boston. The locomotive, wrapped in vinyl in a gold and black scheme, features an image of King Tut with the message, “Go Beyond the Mask,” which “represents a nod to the learning opportunities awaiting guests at the exhibition on the life and times of one of history’s most well-known pharaohs.”

Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience presents the story of Egypt’s “Boy King” Tutankhamun, who between 1332 and 1323 BC was the last of his royal family to rule Egypt during the end of the 18th Dynasty. The exhibit marks the 100-year anniversary of his tomb’s discovery in 1922 after 3,000 years. It features nine multi-sensory, multimedia galleries that “go beyond a traditional artifact display, using the power of photography and technology, ensuring that the artifacts from King Tut’s tomb remain in their country of origin” (and that superstitious visitors need not be concerned with “The Curse of the Pharoahs”). 

The exhibit is open through February 2023 at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C., and through Oct. 2 at the SoWa Power Station in Boston, before extending to other cities throughout North America. Amtrak is offering, through Sept. 30, a 15% discount off exhibition tickets using code Amtrak15 at BeyondKingTut.com.

Editor’s Comment: Please don’t try to “Walk Like an Egyptian” down the aisle of an Amtrak Northeast Regional train in motion. The track on the NEC is good, but it doesn’t come close to providing the glass-smooth ride of, say, the TGV, where the ride quality is judged on the ability of a glass of Chardonnay to sit on a table, perfectly motionless. We’ll see if the Alstom-built Acela II delivers something close to the TGV, upon which it is based, when it enters service next year. – William C. Vantuono

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