APRHF Year in Review. This Was Our 10th Year!!!

Wow! Believe it or not, this year we celebrate ten years for the American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation. That is a lot of water under the bridge.  Errr.. maybe I should say trains down the track? We have learned a lot over the years and have also chased the pendulum that likes to swing like crazy. I do believe the swing has slowed now.  Let’s take a look at what this year has brought to the APRHF.

Our goal from the beginning was to build a Passenger Rail Interpretive Center and it is time to get that on the radar. More details on this in the following paragraphs.

 

Exhibition of Amtrak History

With the above said, we do already have that interpretive center kind of started with the APRHF Exhibition of Amtrak History, which has been in operation since 2008.  However, it needs to be updated, leveled, and is what started us on our first ever GoFundMe fundraiser. It has been pretty successful to date as Spring 2019 will see the laying of the new foundation for the Amtrak cars to be moved onto. This is an exciting time for the APRHF and is just the beginning!  There is also a donation request letter to our local foreman of the BNSF for ties and rail (Fingers crossed that it gets approved!), if approved, it will fast forward the project to fun stuff (i.e.: Moving and painting of the cars, new displays inside, walkways, etc.). Full details on this fundraiser can be viewed here.

 

LaPlata Amtrak Depot

The APRHF receives station improvement funds annually via the state of Missouri. It has provided well for us to fix small projects around the Amtrak Depot in LaPlata, MO. This year, Amtrak showed up with their large scale project to update the depot for ADA compliance. The bathrooms have been updated along with the floors and platforms. There is much work yet to be done. Things are looking real nice. The best part of the project is the station has kept its Art Deco charm.  There will soon be an article covering this project in more detail.

 

Let’s Talk Trains

Sadly, the Let’s Talk Trains show podcast efforts have come to a close.  The lack of people wanting to host the podcasts put KC Nathan in the hot seat for doing it all, which was never the intention of this shows layout, and with the addition of a baby to their family, the decision was made to table that program. In the meantime, member Chris Mains and Nathan are still keeping the Lets Talk Trains Facebook page full of the latest train news.

 

APRHF Rail Rangers

Our other program the APRHF Rail Rangers has grown and expressed a desire to become their own non-profit. The APRHF agreed and, until that happens, the Midwest Rail Rangers are operating as a chapter of the APRHF. We wish them the best of luck on their new endeavors.  They have been quite busy over the past 3.5 years since they started in July of 2015. Here is their new website.

 

APRHFstore.com

The APRHFstore.com was started last year and has caught on well. (It is almost like there are people out there that like trains. LOL!!) It is our official store housing our APRHF T-Shirts, Ornaments, Amtrak lanyards, Books, Model Trains, and DVD’s. The physical store is located in LaPlata, MO and shares space with Trainparty.com. The online version of the APRHFstore.com is an Ebay store and has been moving products steadily. Our store is also a dealer for Horizon Hobby, Walthers, Rapido, Sunsout Puzzles, Charles Smiley DVD’s, and etc.

 

Lookout Point Park

We started to get the gears rolling on the Lookout Point Park area.  The road is built, the land is cleared and manicured, and it has a good curbside appeal already. We are currently working on the behind the scenes stuff to make sure everything goes smoothly.  This next years main focus will be in this area.

 

APRHF Chapters

The Kaw Valley Junction Railroad Association has been working on their Model Train layout for public displays. As of their last report, they are working on trying to find a place to setup their operations. You can follow them on Facebook to keep up with their work.

 

 

LaPlata Rail Days with Virtual Railfan

We did have a fun time in October, when we partnered with Virtual Railfan to have our first ever LaPlata Rail Days event. Over 80 people came from all over the country to watch trains, meet each other for the first time, and reconnect already set friendships. The event was supposed to be at the Lookout Point Park property, but mother nature drenched the land with lots of rain and made it unusable. The event was moved to Trainparty with dryer and higher ground. If you missed it this time, that is OK.  Summer of 2020 will be the next one! Details will be posted later this year. We did have a good time despite some chilly temps. The full article on this event can be found here. What is Virtual Railfan you ask, all you need to know about them is here. They also have some great feeds including LaPlata on You Tube.

2019 is set to be a fun and exciting year for the APRHF. Follow us here and on Facebook to keep up. Better yet, consider joining our organization or donating to our cause. Another easy way to help us out is to smile when you shop on Amazon. Simply pick our organization when you go to smile.amazon.com. Once you sign up there, you can update the app on your phone to smile every time you shop with Amazon.

Once the Lookout Point Project is done, it will be the only one like it in existence.

Hope everyone has a Safe and Happy New Years celebration.

Come on 2019, Woo hoo!!

 

 

 

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