Located on the prairie of northeastern Missouri, La Plata grew at the intersection of stage coach roads. Volunteers have worked to gradually restore the depot since the late 1990s.
La Plata, Missouri
535 North Owensby Street R.R. #1 La Plata, MO 63549
- Annual Station Revenue (2015)
- Annual Station Ridership (2015)
|Facility Ownership||BNSF Railway|
|Parking Lot Ownership||BNSF Railway|
|Platform Ownership||BNSF Railway|
|Track Ownership||BNSF Railway|
|10 Long Term Parking Spaces||10 Short Term Parking Spaces||Accessible Platform|
|Accessible Restrooms||Accessible Ticket Office||Accessible Waiting Room|
|Accessible Water Fountain||Dedicated Parking||Enclosed Waiting Area|
|Help With Luggage||Restrooms||Wheelchair Lift|
- Southwest Chief
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The La Plata Amtrak station is a restored Art Deco style depot constructed of wood and brick. The original passenger and freight depot, built in 1887, was in need of replacement during World War II, but building materials were not readily available. In 1945, after a fire burned portions of the building, the interior and exterior were remodeled and modernized in the popular Art Deco style. The remodeling actually preserved the original building within the inner and outer layers.
The station declined gradually until 1996, when a coalition of the Friends for La Plata Preservation and the NEMO Model Railroad Club began renovating the building exterior. Through volunteer labor and money from individual donations, this work was completed in 2001; the interior has also been gradually restored.
Funding for the restoration work was obtained through a variety of sources: $2,500 for technical assistance from the Great American Stations Foundation; $41,000 through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TEA-21 program, which was administered through the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission and required 25 percent matching funds; $24,250 from the Missouri legislature; and $14,000 in private donations raised by the Friends of La Plata Preservation, including $7,000 from the Surbeck Charitable Trust.
Upkeep of the station is now shared between Amtrak and the American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation (APRHF). Between 2010 and 2013, with grants and monies received from the Missouri Department of Transportation and other organizations, the APRHF has installed new gutters, repaired doors and painted the depot. Historically accurate Santa Fe Railway logos--a cross within a circle--have been installed on each end of the building, along with new platform benches. The APRHF continues to seek grants for station improvements and also organizes fundraisers to support a special fund for station maintenance.
La Plata lies on the prairie of northeastern Missouri. On March 17, 1827, Drury Davis established his trading post a half-mile from present-day La Plata. The town eventually developed at the intersection of north-south and east-west stage coach roads. In 1855, Henry O. Clark surveyed the town and presented the plats to three settlers, Louis Gex, Theodore Saunders and Dr. W.W. Moore; they named three of the principal streets for themselves. Town legend has it that the city was named by lottery and possibly because the original town fathers liked the connotations of “silver” from the Spanish word, “plata.”
The North Missouri (later Wabash) Railroad built tracks through town in 1867. Twenty years later, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, better known as the Santa Fe, placed its route from Chicago to Kansas City through La Plata. This line, now owned by BNSF Railway, sees as many as 75 trains a day. La Plata remains a small town, its primary industries related to manufacturing and agriculture. It also serves as the rail gateway to Truman State University and the College of Osteopathic Medicine at A.T. Still University, both located 15 miles north in Kirksville, Mo.
Amtrak does not provide ticketing services at this station, which is served by two daily trains. A caretaker opens and closes the facility coincident with train times and provides passengers with customer service and information.