Railroad Person of the Year 2022



           Mike Mowen                 


Mike Mowen has been chosen as the 2022 Railroad Person of the Year. The award is sponsored by Durand Union Station, Inc. in conjunction with Durand Railroad Days.

Mike is a third-generation railroader who worked for five different railroads over his 41-year career. From his start as a yard clerk in Durand in 1976, Mike held many titles and positions, advancing from clerical work to administration, union representative and training and development. By the early 1980s, Mike had attained the position of Assistant Supervisor of Station Services and was responsible for overseeing all the clerical positions in Durand, Bay City and Saginaw.


Later, as the work from Durand was being transferred to Flint, he was instrumental in the transfer and assembled an operating procedures manual for the transition. He also served as local representative for the Transportation Communications Union (TCU) while in Durand. After the closure of Durand, Mowen hired in with the Central Michigan Railway as a consultant to assist in the start of operations of that new company and eventually landed in Tawas City where the Detroit & Mackinac Railway was based. Once again, he was elected as Local Chairman of the TCU, representing the D&M clerical workers, until the time the D&M Railway was sold.


Mowen took a hiatus from railroading and pursued other ventures at this time. He was a motel owner, property manager, Harbormaster, real estate salesman and manager of a bowling establishment. He also held the title of President of the Tawas Bay Tourist and Convention Bureau, held a seat on the Tawas City zoning board, was an officer in the Tawas Coast Guard Auxiliary and was active with the Knights of Columbus and the Kiwanis Club.


Returning to railroading took Mowen to Chicago, again with Grand Trunk Western and their merger with Illinois Central gave him more opportunities for advancement. He spent time as a Tower Operator/Train Dispatcher before being promoted to Trainmaster and moving back to Michigan. Eventually, he was tasked with setting up the system for the public to use that identifies every railroad crossing with location and phone numbers to call if there was a problem. That system is still in use today. Retiring in 2017, Mike and his wife Cindy live in Ovid and are active in their church in several roles. They are proud parents and grandparents and are currently getting ready to build their retirement home.


Please congratulate Mike as he receives his award on Friday, May 13 at 6 p.m. at Durand Union Station and wave to him as he rides in the Railroad Days Parade!


Social distancing practices are encouraged as directed by the State of Michigan.


Railroad person of the year application can be found here

Railroad Person of the Year Guidelines and Entry Form


Past Railroad Person of the Year

     2022 Mike Mowen
     20/21 Stan Dungerow
     2019 Richard Crandall
     2018 Jerry Chapman
     2017 Rod Baker
     2016 Neil Randall
     2015 Richard Dean Craven
     2014 Jerry Mowen
     2013 Larry Riddle
     2012 James Vandendries
     2011 Sue Hatherill
     2010 Cliff & Marie Semple
     2009 Don Gray
     2008 Herbert Scrivener
     2007 David Lewis
     2006 Philip Perri
     2005 Robert "Brake Shoe" Brancheau
     2004 Jon Hayes
     2003 Pat Post
     2002 Robert Buck
     2001 William "Mac" McLaughlin
     2000 Ray Russell
     1999 James Mohn
     1998 Forest C. Hines
     1997 Wayne N. Roddy
     1996 J.J. Casady
     1995 Chester "Chet" Liestenfeltz
     1994 Margaret Powell
     1993 John Walworth
     1992 Lloyd Russell
     1991 Ernie Spicer
     1990 Earl Hart
     1989 Sherwood Weichner
     1988 Clare Jewell
     1987 Lloyd Eicher
     1986 Perry Parsall
     1985 Clyde Hayes
     1984 Arthur VanRiper
     1983 Tracy McClure
     1982 Anthony "Tony" Kolman
     1981 Noble Haver
     1980 Ora Goul
     1979 Eddie Crane
     1978 Frederick Tranzrow
     1977 Glenn Willie