Des Moines, Newton, Grinnell, Iowa City, and Davenport may see rail
passenger service in 2000

        (Iowa City, Iowa) - At the most recent meeting of the Iowa Association of
Railroad Passengers (IARP), the President and CEO of Iowa Interstate
Railroad Doug Christy said rail passenger service could come to Des Moines,
Newton, Grinnell, Iowa City and Davenport as early as next year, depending
on the outcome of ongoing negotiations between his railroad and Amtrak (the
National Railroad Passenger Corporation). 

        Preliminary indications are that Amtrak might offer service between
Chicago and Des Moines for its passenger and express/freight service with
evening departures from Des Moines and from Chicago. Passengers would have
coach or sleeper service options for travel.

        Christy said this service is separate from the proposal for a Chicago to
Omaha train which is part of the proposed Midwest Regional Rail System
under study by a nine-state consortium.

        Christy was the featured speaker at the group's meeting, held at the
Radisson Hotel in Iowa City (held Saturday, January 23rd). 

        Richard F. "Dick" Welch, of North Liberty, was re-elected President. Welch
is affiliated with the R. F. Welch Company of Cedar Rapids.

        George F. Davison, Jr., of Des Moines, was re-elected as Vice President of
the group. Davison is a lawyer with the law firm of Hawkins & Norris in Des

        Dr. Michael Sellz of Iowa City was re-elected Secretary. Dr. Sellz has a
chiropractic practice in Iowa City.

        Mary Buczek of Davenport was re-elected Treasurer. Buczek is affiliated
with Iowa-Illinois Thermal Insulation in Davenport.

        Catherine "Cathy" Johnson, Membership Chair of the group, was re-elected
to the Board of Directors. She was formerly a Director of the National
Association of Railroad Passengers.

        John M. Ely, Jr., of Cedar Rapids, and Roland M. Lynch of Council Bluffs,
continue as Directors of the group, since their positions were not up for
re-election this year. 

        Previous recent meeting sites have included Davenport, Cedar Rapids,
Amana, Boone, and Des Moines.

        The Iowa Association of Railroad Passengers is a statewide, non-profit
citizens' organization advocating passenger rail transportation. It was
formed in 1981 to strengthen the voice of the rail user in Iowa. 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. Information about the
organization is available on the Internet at