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BYLINE: John D. Boyd
Short line operator Watco got an early start on its Grand Elk Railroad project in Michigan, after the Surface Transportation Board cleared the way late last week.
The company named Rodney Gordon as general manager of the new railroad, which will lease 123 miles of track and some other facilities from Norfolk Southern Railway and be headquartered in Kalamazoo. Shasta Stump is GER's vice president of sales.
Rick Webb, Watco's CEO, said the company began taking applications for Grand Elk's 58 jobs around mid-January, and by month's end more than 1,600 had poured in. "The number of applications says a lot about the economic …