GLC Great Lakes Central Railroad
GLC Michigan

Great Lakes Central Railroad announces strategic partnership with Watco Transportation Services, LLC, a subsidary of Watco Companies, LLC
(November 18, 2013)

(Owosso, Mich.) Federated Capital Holdings, LLC (FCH), a Michigan limited liability company and parent of Great Lakes Central Railroad Inc. (GLCR) has formed a strategic partnership with Watco Transportation Services, LLC (WTS), a Kansas limited liability company and subsidiary of Watco Companies, LLC. FCH has reached a definitive agreement to issue preferred equity shares to WTS. The minority investment by WTS provides FCH with investment capital to pursue new strategic growth opportunities.

“This partnership between two entrepreneurial companies will help insure the long-term success of local rail service in Michigan but also provides a mechanism for the continual growth and improvement of our transportation assets to help grow Michigan’s manufacturing and agricultural interests,” said Lou Ferris, Chairman of FCH’s parent Company Federated Railways, Inc.. “We also believe that this partnership provides significant benefits to the Michigan Department of Transportation’s passenger efforts”. “We look forward to working with Watco’s team for years to come,” added Ferris. The investment structure enables FCH to pursue new opportunities and operate in the normal course with no management or personnel changes.

The GLCR stretches from Ann Arbor, MI north to Cadillac with branches to Thompsonville, Traverse City, and Petoskey. The primary commodities hauled by GLCR include grain, sand, and plastic. The railroad interchanges with the Canadian National and Huron Eastern in Durand, CSXT at Anne Pere and Howell, the Ann Arbor Railroad at Ann Arbor, and the Mid-Michigan Railroad at Alma. FRI, through the GLCR’s shops in Owosso, rehabs and upgrades its passenger car fleet to be used for the Michigan Department of Transportation’s proposed “WALLY” service as well as for other potential commuter agencies.

“The Watco team is extremely proud and honored to enter into a long-term strategic partnership with the excellent team at FCH,” said WTS Chief Executive Officer Rick Webb. “We look forward to the opportunity to work with FCH to create extraordinary value for rail shippers in Michigan.”
* * * *
Watco Companies, LLC, (Watco) is a Pittsburg, Kansas, based transportation company providing transportation, mechanical, and transload/intermodal solutions for customers throughout North America and Australia. Watco is the owner of Watco Transportation Services, LLC, (WTS), one of the largest short line railroad holding companies in the U.S. with 30 short line railroads operating on more than 4,400 miles of track, as well as 28 industrial contract switching locations. Watco’s Mechanical Services division operates 16 railcar repair shops, 23 railroad repair shops, 8 locomotive shops and 5 private railcar shops. The Transload/Intermodal Services division currently manages 28 transload facilities, 10 warehouses and 2 port locations. More information about Watco and its subsidiaries can be found at
  • Ted Mills
  • Managing Director
  • Resource Capital Advisors, LLC
  • 115 North Center Street, Suite 202
  • Northville, MI 48167
  • Cell: 248-568-5325

New rail cars are tested for two proposed commuter rail lines
(November 15, 2012)

(Gratiot County, Mich.) As efforts to improve passenger rail service between Pontiac and Jackson and Washtenaw and Livingston counties plugs along, refurbished commuter rail cars are being tested on Amtrak lines.

Six bi-level, stainless steel cars, refurbished at a cost of $310,000 each by Owosso-based Great Lakes Central Railroad, came from Illinois and will eventually be used on the proposed Detroit-to-Ann Arbor line that is being planned by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and on the WALLY line between Livingston and Washtenaw counties, a project of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority. ... Read the story at metromode.

Ann Arbor-to-Detroit commuter rail: SEMCOG says demonstration trains could start next year
(November 14, 2012)

(Gratiot County, Mich. February 14, 2012) Six newly refurbished, bi-level commuter rail cars made their first test run from Pontiac to Jackson and back Tuesday night, passing through Ann Arbor. ... Read the story at

Michigan commuter line begins test run
(November 13, 2012 )

(Gratiot County, Mich.) Six newly refurbished commuter rail cars are being tested in southeast Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG). ... Read the story at RT&S.

GLC Conductor and Engineer Hailed as Heroes
(February 14, 2012)

(Gratiot County, Mich.) WNEM Channel 5 reported that a Great Lakes Central Railroad conductor and his engineer brought their train to a halt and ran to the aid of a motorist who had slammed his truck into the train, reaching him in time to keep him from drowning in the icy Maple River. ... Read the story at

Michigan Railroad Recieves 17 Million Dollar Loan
(July 15, 2010)

(Owosso, Mich.) Great Lakes Central Railroad together with Federated Railways and Federated Railcars was recently granted a 17 million dollar loan through the Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) Loan Program managed by the Federal Railroad Administration. The loan proceeds will primarily be used to purchase track equipment and locomotives. It will also be used to rehab existing maintenance facilities and upgrade approximately one mile of Great Lakes Central Railroad (GLC) track to handle 286,000 pound loads for a grain shipper and to retire existing debt from past improvement projects. GLC is Michigan’s largest regional, and only Class II, railroad, with 400 miles of track stretching through Central and Northern Michigan. Formerly known as Tuscola Saginaw Bay Railway, the railroad was re-named Great Lakes Central Railroad after its purchase by Louis P. Ferris, Jr. in March 2006. The main offices and principal maintenance facilities are located on a 40-acre site in Owosso, Michigan. GLC provides dependable, integrated transportation benefits to a growing customer base throughout Michigan. Their financial stability has allowed them to retain jobs and create new positions, as well as offer competitive freight rates in conjunction with rail partners throughout North America. The railroad is working closely with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), Washtenaw and Livingston counties to start a commuter run between Howell/Brighton and Ann Arbor, branded as WALLY. Great Lakes Central Railroad is dedicated to supporting community goals for transportation efficiencies through its forward thinking and development planning. GLC contributes to a stronger Michigan economy by efficiently serving and supporting its freight customers and future commuter ridership. For questions, please visit or contact Mike Bagwell, President and Chief Executive Officer of GLC at (989) 725-6644 x104. Wikipedia Reports on Great Lakes Central Railroad

connecting Michigan
  • Canadian National and Huron Eastern Railroads at Durand, Michigan

  • CSXT Railroad at Anne Pere in Howell, Michigan

  • Norfolk Southern Railroad via Ann Arbor Railroad at Ann Arbor, Michigan

  • Mid-Michigan Railroad at Alma, Michigan
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