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John H. Burdakin


In 16 years with Detroit based Grand Trunk Western Railroad (1971-1987) including 12 years as president, Burdakin spearheaded a strengthening of Michigan's railroad system, enhancing service to the state's rail users. The location of new auto assembly plants in Michigan on Grand Trunk lines during his tenure testifies to his success. Burdakin arranged the merger of the Detroit, Toledo, Ironton, Detroit and Toledo Shore Line railroads into Grand Truck Western, preserving control of those lines within Michigan, and integrating the operations of all three carriers. As a director of the Association of American Railroads and chairman of the Michigan Railroads Association, Burdakin campaigned throughout the industry for high standards of rail maintenance and safety as exemplified at Grand Trunk, which became known as the "Good Track Road."

Michigan Transportation Hall of Honor, 1992