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      Group seeks possible Traverse City-Williamsburg rail route

      A nonprofit advocacy group in northern Michigan says it's time to consider providing passenger rail service between Traverse City and the nearby community of Williamsburg.

      TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A nonprofit advocacy group in northern Michigan says it's time to consider providing passenger rail service between Traverse City and the nearby community of Williamsburg.

      The Michigan Land Use Institute outlines the proposal in a report last week. It says utilizing the 11-mile stretch of rail could boost tourism and development in the area.

      Transportation policy specialist James Bruckbauer says it could be a first step toward restoring Traverse City's passenger rail connection to the rest of the state.

      The report says it would cost much less to upgrade the track than to reconstruct a 1.5-mile section of U.S. 31, the highway linking Traverse City and Williamsburg.

      It says daily commuter trains might be too expensive, but a seasonal tourist shuttle would be a good start.