Trains are very much part of the history of Country Music and of Philadelphia.

So when Marty Stuart returned to his hometown to begin creating and establishing the Congress of Country Music, it is no surprise railroad history is very much in the mix.

“I can’t count the number of train songs there are in country music,” said Harry Stinson, the chairman of the Congress of Country Music Train Committee. “I love trains, Marty loves trains. It’s a fun factor – not only the trains but the folklore and history.”

It will be the Train Committee that starts a day of activities when a nationwide tour promoting an upcoming film documentary about the history of Country Music comes to Philadelphia March 28.

Country Music, an eight-part, 16-hour documentary directed and produced by famed filmmaker Ken Burns and his associates, will premiere September 15. It will be shown in two-hour programs during the next couple of weeks on various PBS platforms and apps.

The committee will make a special presentation to the community at noon at the Depot.

“What we want to do is raise awareness that Philadelphia has its own rail history,” Stinson said. “People learn about the community through history. We are discussing a lot of ideas and looking for different artifacts.”

The Train Committee’s mission statement is as follows:

“One of the most celebrated themes in Country Music is trains. Even before the Father of Country Music’s Jimmie Rodgers timeless train songs, our nation’s railroads have provided a colorful backdrop and powerful mystique for countless Country Music compositions.  Using trains along with the music they’ve inspired, our goal is to provide a richer experience for visitors to the Congress, as well as celebrating the history of Philadelphia Mississippi’s own relationship with the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad."

The presentation coincides with the preview of Ken Burns’ upcoming feature on Country Music at the Ellis Theater later that evening.

Afterward, the visitors will spend the afternoon at Stuart’s warehouse where they will get to see part of his collection. 

The show starts at the Ellis Theater at 7:30 p.m. Stuart will speak. Then he and his band, the Fabulous Superlatives, will perform. Connie Smith will sing. Stinson is the drummer for the group. Then a portion of the documentary will be shown.

Tickets to show may be purchased by going to