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Train Cars on North Main?

Question Corner: October 2017

by Tim Athan

From the October, 2017 issue

Q. There are often a few train cars parked near NEW Center on North Main. What are they doing there?

A. For many years the nonprofit arts organization Artrain parked its rolling art galleries on the siding adjacent to the NEW Center, "delivering discovery" (their slogan). Artrain no longer owns railcars, but it does still lease the siding, which it now rents to the owners of private railcars.

The Observer previously wrote about the cars' use as hospitality suites, particularly on U-M game days. Deb Polich, Artrain's executive director, declines to confirm that's still the case, saying, "We tend to respect the privacy of those railcar owners." Asked if it's a significant source of revenue, Polich replies, "I don't think we want to discuss that." The organization's 2015 tax returns include $13,222 attributed to "rail leasing."

Got a question? Email     (end of article)

[Originally published in October, 2017.]


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