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Trainweb 10th Anniversary Party in La Plata Missouri

December 8 through 10, 2006
Copyright 2006 by Richard Elgenson

Many people were already there when we arrived.  Below right, Khushi Surve with her dad Shivam Surve.



Soon the speeches started, but not before the ribbon cutting.  Below right, Linda Mohn, Alisa Kigar, Khushi Surve, Shivam "Steve" Surve, Barbara Cepinko, Ray Burns, Steve Grande and Ray Ivy.


Below left, Master of Ceremonies City of La Plata administrator Ray Ivy, who introduced different speakers.  Below right, Brock Hamilton, a young man who works the front desk at the Depot Inn, sang the national anthem.  As soon as the speakers started trains started rolling by very regularly.  During one speech, a BNSF engineer made an unusual horn sound as he must have known what was going on at the TrainWeb building.  There was an unusually large amount of cars outside the building too. 


Below left, La Plata Mayor Larry Herron.,  Below right, John Rhein, representing Friends for La Plata Preservervation (FLPP), an organization involved in the preservation of the La Plata Amtrak Station.


Below left, Kathy Chinn, Missouri House of Representatives, District 8.  Below right, Jeff Kocar, president of the Amtrak Historical Society, based in Chicago.


Below left, Alisa Kigar, Executive Director of the Kirksville Area Chamber of Commerce.  Below right, Linda Mohn, Executive Director of the Macon Area Chamber of Commerce.  La Plata is in northern Macon County Missouri.  They are excited about the potential of new jobs at the proposed rail resort and the influx of visitors.


Ray Burns recited the complete story of the move to La Plata which was like a fairy tale, an event which had extremely low odds of happening.  But it did happen.  A Train Party partner, Shivam Surve, was in Liberty Missouri looking for a place to move the business to when Tom Marshall, owner of the Depot Inn called Ray Burns at Train Party to place a large order for wooden train whistles.  Tom identified himself as a business owner in La Plata Missouri and Ray admitted Shivam was in Liberty shopping for property.  Tom suggested Ray check out La Plata and even offered him around trip airline ticket to see the town.  Ray resisted but evetually took a one way ticket and visited town with Shivam.  There were meetings on a Sunday and Ray and Shivam were impressed enough to stay an extra day.  After returning to Southern California, La Plata representatives kept calling Ray who told them that something was lacking.  That something was the right location and property.  Ray told the La Plata representatives that they had "to pull a rabbit out of their hat."  The BNSF Railway had sold a fertilizer building to the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department for one dollar.  This building was offered to TrainWeb/Train Party and became their new headquarters.  That transaction became the basis for the one hundred people to gather on December 9, 2006 to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of


Below right, Tom Marshall, owner of The Depot Inn & Suites.  Tom mentioned how, in the very short time his business has been in operation, it has rated high of the list at


Below left, Richard Hamilton, host of Let's Talk Trains, an Internet radio program dedicated to railroading and trains.  Below right, Ray Burns being interviewed.



With the speeches done, everyone was invited to have a buffet lunch.  I counted almost 90 people in the room.  Guests were given tours of the building which included the fledgling Amtrak Museum. 

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