La Plata Station Benches Fundraiser

American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation

109 South Gex Street, La Plata, MO 63549 USA | 1-660-616-4676 | www.APRHF.org | info@aprhf.org

NEWS RELEASE
May 24, 2010
Contact: Bob Cox, 660-956-4157

APRHF Seeks Partners to Improve La Plata Amtrak Station with Personalized Benches


LA PLATA, MO – In its ongoing effort to preserve passenger railroading heritage and enhance the travel experience of railroad passengers and the quality of life in Northeast Missouri today, the La Plata-based, non-profit American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation (APRHF) is pleased to announce a fundraising effort to replace the exterior passenger benches at the La Plata (Kirksville) Amtrak Station by seeking community partners to sponsor new, environmentally-friendly benches.

The La Plata station, built in its current state in 1945 by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway, currently features wooden benches along its exterior. These benches have suffered decades of wear from weather and weary travelers alike and have become dilapidated, diminishing their usefulness for passengers and other visitors to the station. The benches have reached the end of their service life and are in urgent need of replacement.

APRHF plans to replace the wooden benches with high-quality benches constructed of dense, recycled plastic, a green solution to further enhance one of the most energy-efficient modes of transportation in existence, the passenger train. Each bench will be available for sponsorship by members of the public or other entities for a contribution of $600 to APRHF, and will feature a plaque bearing the sponsor’s name and, if desired, a memorial message. APRHF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit; this and other donations to APRHF are fully tax-deductible. Bench sponsorships will go to support the work of APRHF.

APRHF currently operates the Exhibition of Amtrak History and Silver Rails Gallery of railroad art. Both attractions are located in La Plata and are open free to the public as a means to enhance visitors’ understanding of railroading history and culture. APRHF’s long-term mission is to establish, expand, and maintain an educational exhibition in La Plata featuring the history of passenger rail in America. This much larger undertaking is slated to be contained within the privately planned, all-weather Silver Rails Resort in La Plata in the coming years.

The campaign to replace the station benches dovetails with ongoing efforts by other community partners to improve the La Plata Amtrak Station. The State of Missouri recently granted $3,000 to Friends for La Plata Preservation (FLPP) for station maintenance projects. This money will be combined with an outside donation of $500, to go towards repainting the entire station exterior and completing a project started in 2009 of sealing the windows and painting the trim. These new funds come on top of $90,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds that Amtrak plans to spend this year on station accessibility improvements. Last year, the nearby Silver Rails Depot Inn & Suites hotel installed equipment to provide complimentary wireless Internet access to all passengers and visitors at the station, making it one of the very few Amtrak stations in the country to feature free wi-fi.

To inquire about sponsoring a bench, please call Bob Cox at 660-956-4157. For more information about APRHF, please visit www.APRHF.org , www.ExhibitionOfAmtrakHistory.com , and www.SilverRailsGallery.com . For more information about the La Plata Amtrak Station, please visit www.greatamericanstations.com/Stations/LAP/ . The La Plata Amtrak Station is located 13 miles south of Kirksville and is served daily by Amtrak’s Southwest Chief, connecting Chicago, La Plata, Kansas City, Albuquerque, Los Angeles, and intermediate stations in both directions.

Example of current unsightly benches slated for replacement at La Plata Amtrak Station:

Example of recycled plastic benches slated for installation at La Plata Amtrak Station:

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