Iowa Rail News
1994 The Iowa Association of Railroad Passengers, Inc.
3349 Southgate Court, S.W., #108, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404-5424

Richard F. "Dick" Welch, President


George F. Davison, Jr., Editor


by Richard F. "Dick" Welch

The Annual Membership meeting of the Iowa Association of Railroad Passengers will be Saturday, January 21, 1995, at Sheraton Inn, 525 33rd Avenue, S.W., Cedar Rapids. The Sheraton is immediately west of the 33rd Avenue Exit from Interstate 380. Lunch will be at 11:30 a.m. Orders will be made from the regular menu with individual settlement. The business meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. and will include election of officers for 1995.

Candidates for office are: President: Richard F. "Dick" Welch; Vice President, George F. Davison, Jr.; Secretary, W.V. St. Peter; Treasurer, Mary Buczek; Directors at Large: Jack Boylan, John Ely, Jr., Roland Lynch, and Scott Rogers.


Iowa Association of Railroad Passengers has joined with the United Transportation Union in Iowa, and other organizations, in supporting the following resolution in support of AMTRAK.

WHEREAS Amtrak is energy efficient and environmentally beneficial, consuming about half as much energy per passenger mile as airlines and causing less air pollution;

WHEREAS Amtrak provides mobility to citizens of many smaller communities poorly served by air and bus services, as well as to those senior citizens, disabled people, student, persons with medical conditions preventing them from flying who need trains as a travel option;

WHEREAS Amtrak is nine times safer than driving on a passenger mile basis, and operates even in severe weather conditions;

WHEREAS Amtrak travel rose 48% from 1982 to 1993 and Amtrak dramatically improved coverage of its operating costs from revenues;

WHEREAS expansion of Amtrak service by using existing rail rights-of-way would cost less and use less land than new highways and airports, and would further increase Amtrak's energy-efficiency advantage;

WHEREAS federal investment in Amtrak has fallen in the last decade while it has risen for airports and highways;

WHEREAS states may use highway trust fund money as an 80% federal match for a variety of non-highway programs, but they are prohibited from using such monies for Amtrak projects;

WHEREAS Amtrak pays a fuel tax that airlines do not pay;

WHEREAS Amtrak workers and vendors pay more in taxes than the federal government invests in Amtrak;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by this body that it urge the President and the Congress to take the following steps:

THAT federal funding of Amtrak not be reduced;

THAT Amtrak be excused from paying fuel taxes that airlines do not pay;

THAT states be given the flexibility to use federal highway trust funds monies on Amtrak project if they so choose;

THAT federal officials include a strong Amtrak system in any plans for a National Transportation System.


Who To Call and Where to Write

The Officers, Directors and Committee Chairs of the Iowa Association of Railroad Passengers, Inc. (IARP)

President: Richard F. "Dick" Welch, 3349 Southgate Court, S.W., #108, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404-5424 319-362-6824
Vice President/Legal Counsel/
Editor Iowa Rail News : George F. Davison, Jr., 2501 Grand Avenue, Suite C, Des Moines, IA 50312-5311 515-288-6532
Secretary: W.V. "Pete" St. Peter, P.O. Box 116, Anamosa, IA 52205-0116 No Telephone
Treasurer: Mary Buczek, 1422 West 9th Street, Davenport, IA 52804-4018 319-323-3390
Director: Jack Boylan, Rural Route 1, Mystic, IA 52574 515-647-2614
Director: John Ely, Jr., 203 23rd Street, N.E., Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-4902 319-363-3927
Director: Scott L. Rogers, 1112 Catherine, Cedar Falls, IA 50613-2426 319-266-0703
Excursion Chair: Eliot A. Keller, 2105 A.C.T. Circle, Iowa City, IA 52245-9636 319-351-9300
Membership Chair/NARP
Region 10 Director: Cathy Johnson, 242 Ferson Avenue, Iowa City, IA 52246-3509 319-337-5989
Meetings Chair: Gary Billmeyer, 1301 Rittenhouse Street, Des Moines, IA 50315-6531 515-285-2807
Records Chair: Jerry Droll, P.O. Box 353, Clarence, IA 52216-0353 319-452-3010
General Correspondence 3349 Southgate Court, S.W., #108, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404-5424

Iowa Rail News is the official publication of the Iowa Association of Railroad Passengers, Inc.


In a letter to the Government Relations Department of AMTRAK, IARP President Richard F. "Dick" Welch requested a display of rail passenger equipment between mid-February and mid-March. Welch wrote, in part, "(M)any organizations and people have been working hard to initiate AMTRAK 403b service through the central part of Iowa on the C&NW Railroad. .... [We] respectfully request that AMTRAK arrange for a display of equipment in Des Moines during the upcoming legislative session to help encourage authorization of the necessary funds to move this program forward. Recommended equipment would be that which AMTRAK proposes to use for this train. .... A two day display is requested with at least one full day being Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday since legislators may not be available on Monday or Friday."

Welch also told AMTRAK that IARP would supply volunteers to staff the display and to assist in responding to questions of members of the General Assembly. He indicated that Iowa Interstate Railroad, Ltd. was receptive to assisting with movement of a train of AMTRAK equipment to Des Moines and to displaying it.



IARP member Russ Sage from Elkhart wrote AMTRAK President Thomas Downs supporting the decision to withdraw advertising from The Tonight Show with Jay Leno . AMTRAK had born the brunt of a number of Leno jokes.

In response to Sage's letter, AMTRAK Vice President Government and Public Affairs Tim Gillespie wrote:

"I appreciate your support of our decision not to advertise on NBC. While we know Jay Leno has a right to say what he pleases, we can, and did exercise our right to advertise where we wish.

"We have a sense of humor and don't mind a joke now and then, but the steady stream of jokes about train safety were counter-productive to any positive image our advertising dollars created."


JANUARY 15, 1995:
Mid-Iowa Train Show, Valley High School, West Des Moines, IA. The meet begins at 10:00 a.m. Admission is $2.00 for adults; children under 12 accompanied by an adult are free. Valley High School is at 35th and Woodland in West Des Moines, just south of Interstate 235 at the 35th Street interchange in West Des Moines. More information can be obtained from Viola Dubay in West Des Moines at 515-223-1963. (Future dates for the Mid-Iowa Train Show are: March 19 and May 21, 1995)

JANUARY 22, 1995:
Eastern Iowa Model Railroaders Association Train Show and Swap Meet at Central City High School, Central City, IA. The meet will be held between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Admission will be $2.00; children under 12 are admitted free with an adult. Central City is northeast of Cedar Rapids, on Iowa Highway 13. More information about the meet can be obtained from Melvin Miller in Cedar Rapids at 319-363-1012.

JANUARY 27, 1995:
Iowa Operation Lifesaver quarterly meeting in Ames. The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. It will be held in the training room at the Iowa Department of Transportation, Administration Building, 800 Lincoln Way. It is expected that the meeting will last about 2 hours. More information can be obtained from Skip Nelson at IDOT in Ames, Telephone: 515-239-1420.


Iowa Operation Lifesaver is planning a special train across Iowa in September 1995. The train consist is expected to be four business cars from the Chicago & North Western. Tentative plans call for one car to be reserved for driver education students and instructors, another car for elementary students and teachers, a car for law enforcement officials, and the last car for government officials and news media.

Excursion Chair Eliot Keller has offered the services of IARP members to serve as volunteers on board the train and to assist with its operation. If you are interested in assisting with this effort to promote the Operation Lifesaver message in dramatic fashion, contact Eliot in Iowa City at 319-351-9300. Thanks in part to January 1995 Iowa Operation Lifesaver Newsletter .


Mark your 1995 calendar for the Joint IARP/Region 10 NARP meeting

APRIL 8, 1995

This meeting will be in the Council Bluffs/ Omaha area to accommodate NARP members from other states in Region 10.