Traverse City Record-Eagle

August 4, 2013

Reviving rail in northern Michigan

BY GLENN PUIT
gpuit@record-eagle.com

---- — KALKASKA — The train tracks that run through Traverse City and Kalkaska can seem like a portal to northern Michigan’s past, when logging companies and manufacturers depended heavily on freight trains — not 18-wheelers — to ship goods.

But in Kalkaska these days, where mostly quiet train tracks cut through town alongside a crowded state highway, some see the rail line as a pathway to the future.

Rail, they contend, can be conduit to new jobs and new manufacturers.

"Truck-to-rail transloading is one prospect away in Kalkaska, and it's one of the areas that looks like it has potential for job growth," said Doug Luciani, president of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce.

Could a rail revival rumble into rural Michigan, with Kalkaska leading the way?

See today's Business section for more.