IOWA ASSOCIATION OF RAILROAD PASSENGERS 3349 Southgate CT SW #108 Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404-5424 www.simpson.edu/~iarp or Pat Hendricks 515-282-9289 or Eliot Keller 319-363-2061 Eliot@kzia.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 04/26/05 State rail passenger group to give Amtrak passengers birthday cake Burlington, Mount Pleasant and Osceola, Iowa When the westbound Amtrak train rolls into Burlington (scheduled for 5:15 p.m.), Mount Pleasant (5:49 p.m.) and Osceola (7:59 p.m.) this Sunday (May 1st), volunteers from the Iowa Association of Railroad Passengers (IARP) will be passing out birthday cake to boarding and detraining passengers. It's all part of IARP's way of celebrating Amtrak's 34th birthday. Project Coordinator Mary Buczek of Davenport (who is also IARP's Treasurer) says, "We want to show our support for Amtrak and our appreciation of the folks who are riding the trains." Buczek will be coordinating the festivities at the Amtrak Depot in Burlington. Cathy Johnson of Iowa City will be coordinating the celebration at the Amtrak Depot in Mount Pleasant. Des Moines Travel Agent Gary Billmeyer (who is IARP's Vice President) will be coordinating the fun at the Amtrak Depot in Osceola, south of Des Moines. Buczek says, "We in Iowa want Amtrak service to continue. It's so important right now that everyone tell their federal officials that Amtrak provides an important service for Iowans and visitors to our state." The public is invited to join in the celebrations. According to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), total ridership in the six Iowa communities it serves (Burlington, Fort Madison, Mount Pleasant, Ottumwa, Osceola and Creston) was nearly 55,000. In fiscal year 2004, Amtrak spent $752,412.00 in Iowa in wages, goods and services. Membership information is available by writing to the Iowa Association of Railroad Passengers, 3349 Southgate Court, SW, Suite #108, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404-5424 or by calling (319) 362-6824 or going to the association's Website at www.simpson.edu/~iarp.