Archive for Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Musicians to liven up overnight layovers at Santa Fe Depot

An unusual concert is planned for Friday night, and a train ticket will let you hear it.

June 17, 2009, 2:32 p.m. Updated June 18, 2009, 12:00 a.m.


Supporters of a plan to revitalize Lawrence’s old Santa Fe Depot not only have a bandwagon, but soon will also have an actual band.

In the latest effort to draw attention to the 1950s-era station, the Depot Redux group will start a program on Friday to provide live music at the depot for passengers of Amtrak’s Southwest Chief, which has a half-hour layover at the station each day.

The catch: The layover occurs at midnight.

“For the musicians, this is really an opportunity for the young and not famous,” said Carey Maynard-Moody, chair of the depot group. “Young because it is at midnight, and for the not famous because we can’t afford to pay them.”

But Maynard-Moody said the program should help make the depot — which is at Seventh and New Jersey streets — more welcoming to users, which is a major goal of the group.

“The layover happens every day, and most of the time people just sit on the train,” Maynard-Moody said. “We thought it would be nice to fill that time with a memorable experience. Give them at least a taste of Lawrence, and Lawrence does music well.”

The first performance in what organizers are dubbing “On Time Performances” will begin at 11:30 p.m. Friday and will last until about 12:30 a.m. Maynard-Moody said the group is working to schedule performances for other dates, and will feature a program as often as musicians are willing to donate their time. The events will be free and open to the public.

In other depot news, U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, R-Kan., will visit the depot at 1 p.m. June 29 to discuss the facility’s future and to hear proposals for federal funding to restore the building.

Representatives from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, Amtrak, the city and the Depot Redux group will make presentations to Moore.

The city is in discussions with Burlington Northern Santa Fe officials about purchasing the building, which would clear the way for the facility to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. Supporters also hope the ownership transfer would make the facility eligible for several types of federal grants.


Noweigh 8 years, 9 months ago

Congrats on an upbeat idea to enhance this community. Transportation to and from Lawrence is an important element in our economic and social success. Anything that adds to that environment in a positive way helps. Good luck hitting the high notes!

frisbeenation 8 years, 9 months ago

Where is the contact information to volunteer?

Depot Redux 8 years, 9 months ago

Dear frisbeenation (Anonymous),

Go to for more information about volunteering as a musician for the "On Time Performances" concert series or for work to restore and maintain the depot.

We must limit musicians to acoustic instruments due to the surrounds of the depot. It is located in a sleepy, quiet neighborhood which we want to respect.

I can be reached at or on my home phone at 785-842-6517.

Kirk Larson 8 years, 9 months ago

"We must limit musicians to acoustic instruments due to the surrounds of the depot. It is located in a sleepy, quiet neighborhood which we want to respect."

Except when the trains go through. I used to live near there and late night train whistles would shake you out of bed!

Otherwise, great idea.I might even volunteer myself!

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