The following is a message from APRHF Vice President Robert Tabern and APRHF Secretary Kandace Tabern:
We greet you with some exciting news involving the future of Rail Rangers.
For the past four years, the American Passenger Rail Heritage
Foundation (APRHF) has proudly sponsored the Rail Rangers as one of its
outreach affiliates. During that time, the group's Interpretive Guides
have presented dozens of on-board educational programs on private rail
excursions across a seven state region of the Upper Midwest --
including traveling through portions of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa,
Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. Interpretive Guides have
also reached out to thousands of passengers on the South Shore Line
with their on-board educational programs that occur two to three times
per month year-round between Chicago and South Bend, IN. The Rail
Rangers have also enjoyed meeting countless supporters over the years
at outreach events such as Trainfest, Mad City Rail, and presentations
at local libraries and train clubs. We also appreciate your enthusiasm
for our railroad route guide books, PDF e-books, and new MP3
podcasts... along with the Rail Rangers' new historical passenger
railroad website collection, such as AmtrakDome.com and PacificParlourCar.com.
Based on all of these accomplishments... and more that will be
announced soon... a decision has been made by the APRHF Board of
Directors that now is the time to spin-off the Rail Rangers into its
own independent 501(c)(3) non-profit. We are confident that this
decision, which was not taken lightly, will better both groups. The
APRHF will be able to narrow its focus to its La Plata,
Missouri-centered projects, such as the proposed expansion of Lookout
Point Park. Meanwhile, the Rail Rangers will be in a much better
position to fine-tune their on-board educational efforts.... which will
include expanding the number and quality of its programs. The Rail
Rangers will also be able to have direct control over incoming
donations and finances.
Please know that the goal of everyone on the APRHF Board, and the
future Midwest Rail Rangers Board, will be to ensure a smooth and
seamless transition for our private and public rail partners and
riders. Our hope is that the casual APRHF and Rail Rangers supporter
will not even notice any differences.
The Rail Rangers will continue to work together with our
private/charter rail partners -- including the Friends of the 261,
Zephyr Route, Friends of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad,
Paxrail, Iowa Pacific Holdings, and the 20th Century Railroad Club of
Chicago. The Rail Rangers look forward to having our Interpretive
Guides on just as many historic private car trips in the Midwest as we
did in past years, if not more-so in 2019. (We hope to begin
announcing some private rail trips soon!) . The Rail Rangers will also
continue working with the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation
District (NICTD) to provide our popular South Shore Line programs
multiple times per month year-round. In fact, a new contract will soon
be signed extending our educational partnership agreement with NICTD
through January 2021! The Rail Rangers will also continue
production/research of brand new railroad route guide books, e-books,
and podcasts in 2019... and continue to build additional historical
websites for your enjoyment.
What will mostly occur during this upcoming transition period will be
"behind the scenes"... stuff you likely won't see... but we wanted to
briefly share with you. Effective Saturday, December 22, 2018, the Rail
Rangers will become a temporary chapter of the APRHF entitled "The
Midwest Rail Rangers Chapter of the American Passenger Rail Heritage
Foundation". This Chapter will remain in place until the paperwork,
that was already filed, is approved by the state and federal government
for the Rail Rangers to become their own independent 501(c)(3)
non-profit organization. Once that takes place, the name will legally
change to "Midwest Rail Rangers". But hey, just call us the Rail
Rangers, okay? We're all friends around here. We anticipate the whole
process to be completed during the first quarter of 2019.
The new Midwest Rail Rangers Board will be made up of its current
dedicated Coordinators and Guides... including Robert Tabern
(President), Robert Neil (Vice President), Dave Poole (Treasurer),
Kathy Bruecker (Secretary), and Kandace Tabern (Educational Officer).
The Rail Rangers can now be contacted directly by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org...
calling (847) 271-1979... or by writing to: Midwest Rail Rangers
/ P.O. Box 308 / Elm Grove, WI 53122. All mail-in
correspondence, including railroad guidebook orders, will need to be
sent to this address, instead of being sent to the APRHF Headquarters
in La Plata, MO.
We are happy to remind you that all previously announced Rail Rangers
on-board educational programs remain on the schedule... including the
following 14 dates for the South Shore Line: December 15 and December
23 in 2018 and January 5, January 19, January 26, February 2, February
23, February 24, March 2, March 9, March 23, April 6, April 13, and
April 27 in 2019. The Rail Rangers will also still make their
planned appearance at the Mad City Train Show in Madison, Wisconsin on
February 9-10, 2019. We hope to see you out there... it's going
to be a busy winter and spring for us!
The Rail Rangers will continue to have their memorabilia items on
display at the APRHF's Exhibition of Amtrak History in La Plata, MO for
just a few more weeks --- so come and see them soon before they get a
It is important to note that donations and membership dues paid to the
APRHF will no longer go towards supporting the Rail Rangers programs,
effective immediately... but will be used for other projects in La
Plata. You can choose to continue supporting the Rail Rangers by
donating directly to their organization... additional information and a
donation button is located at www.railrangers.org.
This will also be the final posting about the Rail Rangers program here
on www.aprhf.org. To follow the Rail Rangers, you will need to head to www.railrangers.org.
You can use the "Contact Us" link on the left side of the page to sign
up for the Rail Rangers E-Newsletter, which will continue to give
supporters an early look at upcoming trips and events. You can also
follow the Rail Rangers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/railrangers.
Finally, in order to focus our full-time attention on the transition to
what will be the Midwest Rail Rangers, the two of us will be stepping
down from APRHF's Board of Directors effective Friday, December 21,
2018. It has been a pleasure serving as your Vice President and
Secretary for the past two years. We thank the APRHF for their support
over the past four years of the Rail Rangers --- we're honored to keep
your vision alive. We also wish the APRHF good luck with whatever
projects they decide to undertake in the future. We will continue
to write monthly articles for TrainWeb, which is under the leadership
of our good friend Steve Grande.
We hope to see you soon... All Aboard with the Rail Rangers!
Robert & Kandace Tabern
APRHF Vice President & Secretary