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News Release

New officers elected to Great River Rail Commission

February 18, 2019 (Red Wing, Minn.) - Mark Vaughan, a city council member from Hastings, was elected chair in January of the Great River Rail Commission. Vaughan replaces Ramsey County Commissioner Janice Rettman. Commission members elected Paul Drotos, a Goodhue County commissioner, as vice chair. The Commission is made up of 17 officials from cities, counties and regional governments along the Mississippi River between St. Paul, MN and La Crosse, WI.

Mark Vaughan has been a city council member since 2014. He has worked for over 20 years for the city of Eagan in the parks and recreation department and is currently the campus facility manager. Vaughan has been a volunteer member of the Hastings Parks and Recreation Commission, Hastings Planning Commission and the Hastings Charter Commission. "I'm excited to lead the Great River Rail Commission," Vaughan said. "Even though my city doesn't have a station, I believe we will benefit from having a second round-trip passenger train to Chicago and improvements to rail infrastructure that will better serve both freight and passenger rail."

Paul Drotos has been a commissioner in Goodhue County since 2016; he was appointed vice chair of the county board for 2019. He has served as environmental officer for the city of Red Wing, and has been involved with many local groups. "Red Wing's historic train station is a significant asset to our community's residents," Drotos said. "I am committed to preserving and enhancing passenger rail service to provide transportation alternatives and increase economic benefits to our businesses."

About the Commission

The Great River Rail Commission, formerly the Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission, is one of the leading voices on passenger rail in Minnesota. Comprised of officials from 17 local and regional governments from St. Paul to La Crosse, the Commission advocates for the development of the Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago (TCMC) Second Train project, a daily round trip passenger train between the Twin Cities and Chicago. The Commission's long range vision is that the Second Train demonstrates demand for additional passenger rail service that leads to further investment in faster, more frequent passenger train service.

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