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Mendota on line for Trails & Rails program on Amtrak

Posted: Tuesday, Jun 18th, 2013

Kandace Tabern awards a young passenger with a patch, a pin and a certificate for completing a booklet and becoming a junior ranger during a recent trip on Amtrak. (Photo contributed)

MENDOTA – Mendota will be included in a brand new “Trails & Rails” program running this summer on Amtrak. An estimated 18,500 passengers on the Southwest Chief line that travels between Chicago and La Plata, Mo. are expected to participate.

National Park Service Trails & Rails volunteers will be aboard the train talking about the history and natural features of areas the train passes through including Mendota. Some of the stories to be discussed during the 5 1/2 hour-trip across three states include the building of Chicago and its west suburbs, Plano and Central Illinois, the Hennepin Canal, the Cherry Mine Disaster, the Mississippi River, the rolling hills of Northeast Missouri and much more.

Now through Sept. 22, National Park Service Trails & Rails volunteers will ride aboard the westbound Amtrak Southwest Chief (Train #3) on Thursdays and Saturdays between Chicago and La Plata, Mo. and aboard the eastbound Amtrak Southwest Chief (Train #4) on Fridays and Sundays between La Plata and Chicago.

Trails & Rails is an innovative partnership program between the National Park Service and Amtrak, providing rail passengers with educational opportunities that foster an appreciation of a region's natural and cultural heritage. It also renews the long tradition of connecting railroads with National Parks. Since the beginning of the 20th century, railroads played an active role in developing America's national parks, encouraging vacationers and long-distance travelers to take the train to these highly sought-after destinations. Through this program, Amtrak passengers can connect to public lands and engage in a better understanding of the need to preserve and protect these special natural and cultural resources. As an example of this philosophy of stewardship in action, rail travel to parks and protected areas provides a fuel efficient and environmentally friendly way to visit public lands.

For the complete article see the 06-19-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 06-19-2013 paper.

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