Exhibition of Amtrak History, Silver Rails Event Center Ribbon
Cutting and Evening Gala
Rail Events on February 23, 2008
Report and Photographs by Carl Morrison. Comments welcome at
If you are going to take a train from Southern California to La
Missouri in February, there had better be some big festivities going on
once you get there! Let me assure you, there was plenty to do in
the Missouri Tundra and, in this case, "Getting there is half the fun,"
isn't necessarily true. Instead, I anticipated that "Being there
than half the fun."
Amtrak likes to say, "The Journey is as
Important as the Destination," maybe that's the balance I was looking
Why La Plata, Missouri?
La Plata, Missouri, is an Amtrak Southwest Chief stop between
Chicago and Kansas City. When I travel there I perfer to go on
the Southwest Chief since the Depot Inn & Suites, in La Plata, MO,
and delivery of guests staying with them. Also, the first stop
east of Los Angeles is Fullerton, which is only a 20 minute drive from
our home. So, it is very convenient and enjoyable to travel
through the great Southwest between California and Missouri on Amtrak.
Depot Inn & Suites, in December, in LaPlata, Missouri.
My first trip there was a December trip to report on the Grand
of TrainParty new midwest location, and TrainWeb.com's 10th
Anniversary, both formerly in Southern
California. I stayed at the train-themed Depot Inn & Suites
in La Plata, in the Sportsman Suite. (http://www.trainweb.org/carl/Anniversary/Sendoff.html)
My second trip there was an April trip to report on the Celebration of
Chris Guenzler's reaching his Millionth Mile of Rail Travel. I
stayed at the Depot Inn & Suites on this trip also. (http://trainweb.org/carl/Guenzler/)
interviewing a former telegraph operator who worked in the LaPlata
Chris Guenzler Million Mile Rail Travel Overlook.
in Marceline, MO, is the Boyhood Home of Walt Disney.
West of LaPlata is an Amish Store where many of the Amish farmers
in the area shop. I enjoy talking with farmers since I was raised
on a farm myself.
1. Ribbon Cutting of the
"Exhibition of Amtrak History,"
2. Ribbon Cutting of the
"Silver Rails Event Center" and
3. "Silver Rails Event Center"
These events will take place
on Saturday, February 23,
2008, but the exact times may change. Since we know some people may be
arriving on the morning Amtrak Southwest Chief, these events will be
scheduled for the afternoon and evening. However, we suggest
that you arrive the day before on Friday, February 22, 2008, so that
you don't have to worry about missing anything even if your
train runs exceptionally late.
Here is the tentative
1:30 PM Central Time:
Ribbon Cutting of the
"Exhibition of Amtrak History"
This will take place in
front of the 2 ex-Amtrak U.S.Mail Freight Cars that are on a special
siding right next to the
Depot Inn & Suites. A significant amount of Amtrak memorabilia will
be on display inside these cars from almost every year
of Amtrak's existence. This will include almost the entire collection
of the Amtrak Historical Society, plus everything
related to Amtrak that has been collected by TrainWeb.com itself, or
donated to us by the many visitors to our website.
The interior of the two railcars are heated, lighted, and have ramps
for wheelchairs. The railcars will remain open to
visitors from the time of the ribbon cutting until late evening.
3:30 PM Central Time:
Ribbon Cutting of the
"Silver Rails Event Center"
This is the new event
center in Downtown La Plata for business conferences, weddings, and
other social events.
Just like the Depot Inn & Suites, it will have a railroad theme
throughout! Free shuttle service will be provided
between the Depot Inn and Downtown La Plata for this event.
After the ribbon cutting,
visitors will be able to walk through the Silver Rails Event Center and
enjoy beverages and
refreshments at the end of their walk through. This open house will run
from about 3:30 PM until 5:00 PM. The shuttle will
make a number of runs to get everyone to and from this event.
6:00 PM Central Time:
Silver Rails Event Center
This will be the first Gala
Event at the Silver Rails Event Center and will be held on the evening
of its Grand Opening!
This will be a suit and tie affair and will require the advance
purchase of tickets, $15 per person to attend.
Contact the hotel at 1-888-814-3669 to make your reservation and
purchase tickets to this event. We expect seating to be
limited to the first 400 that RSVP. Profits from ticket sales will go
towards the Exhibition of Amtrak History.
This Evening Gala is
the ONLY fee event on this day. There is no charge to attend the Ribbon
Cutting Ceremonies and
walk-throughs of the Exhibition of Amtrak History and the Silver Rails
Event Center held earlier the same day. There is
also no fee for admission to the Exhibition of Amtrak History nor to
spend as much time as you like watching trains at the
newly enclosed and heated
Guenzler Millionth Mile Lookout Point by the BNSF mainline.
For those of you that will
be visiting from out of town who chose not to attend the Evening Gala
the Depot Inn & Suites will be serving free snacks and beverages
and playing railroad movies in the hotel conference room.
The Exhibition of Amtrak History will remain open for the evening.
Also, there will be a send-off gathering at the La Plata Amtrak Depot
for the departure of Chris Guenzler and all others
that may be departing on the westbound 8:06 PM Amtrak Southwest Chief
Silver Rails Resort:
Currently, the most comprehensive report about the Silver
Rails Resort project
can be found in Raymond York's La Plata Trip Report.
now to view that trip report and additional details about the Silver
Rails Resort project.
These two new facilities are just the first steps in the building of
the 160 acre Silver Rails Resort.
A presentation about the entire project will be provided at some time
during the day to be announced later.
Chris Guenzler Millionth Mile Lookout Point
For those of you that have not heard, the
Guenzler Millionth Mile Lookout Point is now enclosed and heated!
You can now watch trains on the BNSF mainline from the enclosed comfort
of the Lookout Point year round!
A radio scanner built into the facility lets you listen in on all
railroad radio communications while you are there.
here for photos and more info about the lookout point.
Make Your Reservations Soon!
If you plan to attend, please make your
reservations with the Depot Inn & Suites either by calling
or online by
Space is filling up fast. You should make your reservation soon if you
plan to attend.
This is just a
preliminary description of events. More information will be posted
later. Please check back!
We hope to see you
there. Thank you!
# # # #
I took Steve's advice and made my Depot Inn & Suites reservation
and secured a sleeping car accommodation (roomette) on the Southwest
Chief from Fullerton, California, to La Plata,
Missouri, round trip. Finally, I reserved two tickets for the
Amtrak's new website, as of this writing, gives a nice list of reasons
for Family Travel on Amtrak: