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January 7, 2022 (Red Wing, Minn.)
Great River Rail Commission
For immediate release: January 7, 2022
MatasCastillo to Chair Great River Rail Commission
January 7, 2022 (Red Wing, Minn.) – The Great River Rail Commission, a staunch supporter of the TCMC Second Train, has elected a new chair for 2022. Elected to the post was Trista MatasCastillo of the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners.
“I’m excited to explore opportunities to improve passenger rail services in ways that will have both environmental and economic benefits,” said MatasCastillo, who was also just elected chair of the Ramsey County Board. “I am very passionate about equity and the environment and passenger rail is perfectly suited to advance both issues.”
MatasCastillo served in three branches of the military for 16 years before beginning a career as an organizer of programs such as Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, Homes for All Coalition, and the Women Veteran Initiative. She is an advocate for affordable housing, all abilities transportation, mental health, and more.
Paul Drotos was re-elected to the vice-chair position on the Great River Rail Commission. He has been a commissioner in Goodhue County since 2016, and has been vice chair of the county board since 2019. He has served as an environmental officer for the city of Red Wing and has been involved with many local groups.
Mark Vaughan, previous chair of the commission and a city council member from Hastings remains on the commission but chose not to seek re-election as chair. "I believe it is time to allow others an opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to the leadership of this organization," Vaughan said. Commission members were joined by members of the public in congratulating Vaughan on his success leading the commission in its efforts to secure $10 million from the state legislature for rail infrastructure improvements.
About the Commission
The Great River Rail Commission is one of the leading voices on passenger rail in Minnesota. 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 additional demand that leads to further investment in faster, more frequent passenger train service. More information is available at greatriverrail.org.
Photos: Trista MatasCastillo, chair, and Paul Drotos, vice chair of the Great River Rail Commission