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Paul Drotos, former Goodhue County Commissioner, environmentalist, and committed TCMC Second Train advocate passed away on Thursday, August 4 following a battle with cancer.

Drotos has been remembered as a man who was compassionate about life, had a great sense of humor, embraced all that he did, and deeply cared about the environment. It was through this environmental lens that he saw his work on the Great River Rail Commission according to GRRC Chair, Trista MatasCastillo. “For him, passenger rail was really about meeting carbon goals and how do we reduce car miles and increase climate protections,” MatasCastillo said. “He brought that voice and that lens to the table all the way. He led with his heart.”

Drotos served on the Great River Rail Commission for six years and as vice chair since 2019. Since 2017, he and the commission advocated and successfully secured state capital funding in 2021 for the Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago (TCMC) Second Train, a proposed daily round trip Amtrak train from St. Paul to Chicago with stops in Red Wing and Winona.

Drotos was a longtime resident of Red Wing, Minnesota and served on the Goodhue County

Board of Commissioners for six years. He was named chairman of the board in 2020. He

resigned from the board in July 2022 due to his illness. The Goodhue County Board of

Commissioners will appoint a new representative to the Great River Rail Commission. The

Commission will hold an election in September to name a new Vice-Chair.

You can read Paul’s full obituary here.

Rochester Post Bulletin article.

The general election is Tuesday, November 8. Please cast an informed vote. Many issues face Minnesotans, and while we recognize it's not the most important issue, we encourage you to ask candidates about their opinions on expanding passenger rail in the state.

Our website has a list of legislative candidates who are running for office in the Twin Cities metro area and along the River Route from St. Paul to La Crescent. Every Minnesota House and Senate district is on the ballot this fall.

See a sample ballot

Find candidate contact information

Polling place finder

Thank you for staying involved!

We've put together a list of activities to enjoy along the River Route. Please download the PDF to start putting together your own itinerary.

2022 GRR Summer Activites
Download PDF • 106KB

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