The Southern Michigan Railroad Society is held back by several false beliefs. They seem real, but they're not.
The doomsday myth of "We could never maintain this railroad and are just borrowing time". SMRS was started by three teenagers. It's easy to believe they got in over their heads. Actually, they had a fine good business plan. Despite many setbacks, they followed it aggressively and were right on track - until the 1988 political shake-up, and the remaining members just gave up. Let's look into that myth further.
The "suspend service temporarily, we'll never resume and the track will be scrapped" myth. Not anymore. Passenger service is very strong today. The fear was that if we stopped using part of the line, we'd be tempted to scrap it because we were so desperate for money. But even then, that didn't happen on our southernmost 2 miles that we cannot use. It's still there. There's also a fear that a "bike path" will seize the opportunity - not likely except on our Clinton-Tecumseh section, which we will certainly continue to use. Lastly there's a fear of "reversion", that adajcent landowners will take the track - can't happen, we actually own our property.
All of this my personal opinion from paying close attention during my 15 years of experience in this field. It may not be the perfect plan - but given my long string of successes at SMRS, it's probably the way to bet.