RRHX - Michigan Railroad History
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Re: Mackinaw City question
Ben, you interpreted my post correctly. To recap, MDOT's Rail Section had a low key "hearing" to, in my opinion, ratify a decision they had already made. The only member of the public who attended was a woman who was a state Representative from Traverse City. She said she was there to see what was going on. I don't recall whether she testified in favor of Michigan Northern. There were three of us from MIGN, Mark Campbell, a past employee of MDOT; Beth Andrus, who later became MIGN's second president; and me. Mark did most of the talking, I chimed in on a couple of rail operations questions. At the end of the hearing, the rail section people said they had decided to contract with Conrail. In defense of MDOT staff, that was the safe choice for a bureaucrat. Conrail under the law that established it was required to provide service on lines not included in Conrail when some entity subsidized the service. CR proposed to continue PC's once a week service between Grand Rapids and Petoskey plus the Traverse City branch as needed. Having been told, "Thanks, but no thanks", the three of us stood in the hallway in the capitol building to consider our options. Mark Campbell, with his never give up attitude, said we should call on legislators that the line served. Since they had met the Traverse City legislator previously, he and Beth elected to see her. I was assigned to meet E. Dan Stevens, the Rep. from Atlanta, whom none of us had met. Dan's intercedence (is that a word?) saved our bacon.