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A La Plata Spring 2012 Railfan Event
to be held in Silver Rails Country,
and at the Depot Inn & Suites,
in La Plata, Missouri, on the route of the Amtrak Southwest Chief
Monday - Thursday, April 2 - 5, 2012

No humidity or high temperatures in April!


  • April 1 Sunday: People arrive from east in the evening on the westbound Amtrak Southwest Chief
  • April 2 Monday: People arrive from west in the morning on the eastbound Amtrak Southwest Chief
  • ... or people can arrive from either direction on prior days on Amtrak Southwest Chief, Amtrak California Zephyr, Amtrak Illinois Service, by Cape Air into Kirksville, or by their own car.
  • April 2 Monday Afternoon: Railfanning around La Plata area with night event at Lookout Point.
  • April 3 Tuesday: Railfaning west of La Plata including bridges west of Ethel.
  • April 4 Wednesday: Railfanning east of La Plata including new bridges.
  • April 5 Thursday: Railfanning Moberly, Mexico and Comlumbia in the morning, BNSF mainline west of Marceline in the afternoon, Programs in the hotel meeting room in the evening. Event ends.
  • April 6 Friday: People depart for home on the Amtrak Southwest Chief or by other means.

Accommodations: The Depot Inn & Suites is providing 20 per cent room discounts to participants who register in advance by March 15, 2012, for $75 per night plus tax. Click here for more information about the railroad themed luxurious Depot Inn & Suites hotel.

Meals: Lunch and dinner can be purchased at the Red Rooster Restaurant right next door to the hotel or other restaurants in the area. A continental breakfast each morning as well as a 24/7 coffee bar in the hotel lobby is included in the hotel room rate. Alternatively a full breakfast can be purchased at restaurants in Downtown La Plata such as Grandma's Home Cookin.

After Hours: There is much to see and do in the surrounding Silver Rails Country when you are not busy attending the railfan events, or if you stay beyond the days of the event. Click here for more information or click here to have a map of Silver Rails Country mailed to you.

Railfan Event Transportation: Participants must provide their own transportation or they can share a ride for $35 per person for the 3 day event. Rental cars are also available from Enterprise Rent-a-Car in nearby Kirksville, telephone 660-665-3396. Enterprise will bring the car to the Depot Inn & Suites. Mention Code L51EZ54 and get special daily rates of $34 for compact, $37 for mid-size, or $39 for standard. (Call the local Enterprise office at 660-665-3396 and not the national Enterprise number. The National office is not aware of this discount or about delivering your vehicle to the hotel. Rates may change so check for the current special offer price.) Note: If you will be renting a car or driving your own car to the event and would be willing to have other event participants ride along in your vehicle to the railfanning locations, please let Chris know at This will reduce our need to rent additional vehicles. Thanks!

Free Hotel Shuttle Service is provided from the La Plata-MO Station on the route of the Amtrak Southwest Chief, the Ottumwa-IA Station on the route of the Amtrak California Zephyr, and the Quincy-IL Station on the route of the Amtrak Illinois Service. Cape Air also provides daily air shuttle service from St. Louis to Kirksville with connections from throughout the nation. The hotel also provides free shuttle service from the airport, just 5 minutes from the hotel. When you make your hotel reservation please be sure to mention that you will need free shuttle transportation and from which Amtrak Station or if from the Kirksville Airport.

Click Map For Driving Directions.

Click Here For Information On Arriving By Train Or Plane

This event has been organized and will be led by Chris Guenzler. Chris has traveled more than a million miles by Amtrak and is quickly approaching two million miles of overall rail travel. He has traveled, photographed, and posted reports related to all of the Amtrak routes, most other tourist railway lines in North America, and over quite a bit of other rare mileage. The train watching platform and cabin in La Plata was dedicated and named The Chris Guenzler Millionth Mile Lookout Point at a ceremony commemorating when Chris acheived his millionth rail mile enroute to La Plata on April 27, 2007. The following year on April 7, 2008, Chris reached exactly one million miles of Amtrak travel as he stepped off the Amtrak Southwest Chief in La Plata. Details and photographs from these events that celebrated Chris' record rail travel achievements can be found at: Rail travel reports and photographs by Chris Guenzler can be viewed at

For Further Information send email to Chris Guenzler at For hotel reservation questions send email to or call 888-814-3669 toll free. For complete train, plane, car rental, hotel or other travel reservations call 877-459-5900 toll free. (Please only call 877-459-5900 if you want to book Amtrak, flight, car rental or other travel reservation in addition to booking your hotel stay. If you ONLY want to make hotel reservations, then please call 888-814-3669. 877-459-5900 goes to our knowledgable affiliate travel agency. 888-814-3669 goes to the Depot Inn & Suites front desk. Thanks!)

The 20% off discount hotel rate of $75 per night will also apply if you'd like to arrive a few days before the event begins or would like to stay a few days after the event ends based on availability. To check for availability or to make your reservations, call the hotel toll free at 888-814-3669 and mention that you are coming for the Spring 2012 Railfan Event in order to obtain the special hotel discount rate.

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