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      All aboard for Trails and Rails

      Looking out your window while riding the train can seem a little boring, but things are getting a little more interesting. 31.2 million people rode Amtrak last yearâ?|the largest annual total in its history. A program that could be at least partly responsible for more passengers is Trails and Rails."We narrate for passengers for the entire route from Chicago to La Plata, Missouri,â?? said Volunteer Robert Tabern.

      For 6 hours and 311 miles, passengers listen to a Trails and Rails guide tell them about the natural and historic features that are outside their windows."Passengers are really surprised going through Illinois because all it is; is flatland, but once you get in northeast Missouri and southeast Iowa you see a lot of rolling hills. And, a lot of people don't realize that was created by the last two periods of the Ice Age coming through this area of the country,â?? Tabern said.

      He said passengers love to learn about what they're seeing."It's a pretty ride through Iowa and Missouri, but the thing is they always say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I think having (us) explaining what you see is worth a million words.â?? American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation President Bob Cox said this is a great program that involves the entire family. "Iâ??m proud to be part of this,â?? Cox said. â??It was brand new to me when he sent me the first email I was like 'What? What is this?â?? because I hadn't heard of it. But, Robert has educated me well. I'm very happy to be a part of it and helping out."There is a lot of history along these tracks and Trails and Rails is happy to share it with you. The program ends September 18.