While we think of cars or airplanes when we think of holiday travel, many Iowans board a train. In 2002, just over 46,000 people boarded or got off an Amtrak train in Iowa. Two Amtrak routes go through the state, though Amtrak’s Mark Magliari says the Southwest Chief Route from Chicago to LA passes only through Fort Madison. The California Zephyr passes through the southern tier of Iowa and the most popular stops in Iowa are Osceola and Mount Pleasant. Other stops in the state include Creston and Burlington. There’s been talk for 20 years of moving the route northward, so Amtrak’s main line through Iowa will have a depot in Des Moines. Magliari says that might be superseded by a newer plan. Iowa, along with several other midwestern states, is engaged in discussions of the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, a hub-and-spoke plan that would center on Chicago and have a “spoke” route passing through Des Moines on its way to Omaha/Council Bluffs, though the plan’s not yet funded and is still in the study stage. Amtrak’s changed some security procedures since September 11th, and of those he’s allowed to discuss, Magliari says the most important is requiring a government-issued ID of anyone who buys a ticket or checks baggage on a train. For more information, tickets or route maps, surf to www.amtrak.com