3349 Southgate CT SW #108
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404-5424 or 
Pat Hendricks 515-282-9289 or
Eliot Keller 319-363-2061


       State rail passenger group to meet at Trains Day 
                at Cedar Rapids historic village

     Cedar Rapids   The Iowa Association of Railroad Passengers
(IARP) will meet at 11:30 a.m., Sunday, June 6, 2004, at Ushers
Ferry Historic Village in Cedar Rapids in conjunction with the
village's annual Trains Day celebration.
     IARP will hold its summer meeting from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00
p.m. at the Ushers Ferry Historic Village Town Hall.
     IARP members will hear from Bill Hoekstra, director of Cedar
Rapids Transportation and Parking. Cedar Rapids has applied for a
$12.3 million federal grant to provide excursion trolley service
between Cedar Rapids, North Liberty, Coralville, Iowa City and
the Amana Colonies.
     Hoekstra says the trains would run on existing Cedar Rapids
and Iowa City Railway (CRANDIC) and Iowa Interstate Railroad
tracks and provide connections to various tourist attractions in
the area. He and Mayor Pate have been working with planners in
the other communities to share the additional local costs for the
proposed system.
     A representative of CRANDIC is also expected to speak to the
group about the proposed service as well as the railroad's 100th
Anniversary being celebrated this year. CRANDIC started as an
electric railroad in 1904 and was converted to diesel power when
passenger service ended in the early '50's.
     The theme of this year's Trains Day event is "Electric
Railways of Iowa." It will include video and slide presentations
that will highlight the role of electric railroads in our state.
     Iowa rail fans are very familiar with the major carriers
that brought rail service to towns and cities in our state in the
late 1800's and early 1900's, like the Rock Island Lines,
Milwaukee Road, Chicago & North Western and Great Western. But
there were small rail lines that were also part of Iowa's
history, including electric railroads.
     Most of those railways are long gone and long forgotten, but
their stories will be featured during the annual Trains Day at
Ushers Ferry Historic Village on Sunday, June 6th between 11:00
a.m. and 5 p.m.
     Other features of Trains Day include a swap meet, with
vendors offering railroad memorabilia and model railroad
supplies, a garden railroad display, special activities for the
youngsters and a one-hour melodrama to end the day.  It's called
"Love Rides the Rails" or "Will the Mail Train Run Tonight?" 
     Ushers Ferry is located west of the 42nd Street exit on I-
380.  Take 42nd Street west to Seminole Valley Road then follow
the signs.
     The public is invited and welcome to attend the IARP meeting
and all the Trains Day festivities. IARP members will be admitted
to the grounds without charge by showing their membership card at
the entrance. Public admission to Ushers Ferry Historic Village
Trains Day is $4 for adults, $2 for children 5-14 years of age.
Lunch will be available on the grounds at reasonable prices.
     IARP President Pat Hendricks said the Iowa Association of
Railroad Passengers is a state-wide non-profit group that
supports rail service, both passenger and freight. Hendricks said
the group has met at various locations throughout the state.
Previous recent meeting sites have included: Des Moines, Boone,
Council Bluffs, Mount Pleasant, Osceola and Dubuque.
     The organization is affiliated with the National Association
of Railroad Passengers in Washington, D.C.,
     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