Loading

31°F

33°F

32°F

31°F

28°F

29°F

32°F

40°F

28°F

28°F

40°F

32°F
NEWS STORIES

WisDOT leaders hopeful for increase in Northwoods railSubmitted: 04/24/2014

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
afox@wjfw.com


ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - Railroads give businesses a chance to move loads of material for a low cost. Loggers could use rail as an alternative to trucking material, but many businesses don't get that opportunity in the Northwoods anymore.

Canadian National bought rail in the Northwoods about a decade ago. They have cut back service drastically since then.

Some counties haven't seen train travel in years, which hurts business. Now, those businesses want to reestablish rail service.

In response, a group of counties in Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan formed the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission.

Their goal is to bring back efficient rail to their counties. The group has been working with Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) officials, like Dennis Leong, since forming the group in 2012.

Leong believes there is an opportunity to bring back rail to the region based off of the feedback from businesses and local governments.

"We did a survey of businesses in the Northwoods area and found potentially quite a few business interests in rail," Leong said. "They're meeting with CN (Canadian National) and having discussions, so hopefully maybe certain sections can be brought back to service."

Leong wants to help expand rail in the north, but private companies might only re-establish rail if they think they can make money on it.

"Part of the challenge is that you have to have the volume in which the railroads want to make sure they have an operating system to put back in service," Leong said.

Leaders at the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission are trying to win a multimillion dollar federal grant, TIGER, from the U.S. Department of Transportation to get more log cars for rail in the Northwoods. They'll host their monthly meeting Friday at 10 a.m. at the Oneida County Courthouse.

Wisconsin has 13 freight railroads using a system of more than 33 hundred mile of rail, according to WisDOT.



Related Weblinks:
Northwoods Rail Transit Commission

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Some landowners don't want to make changes to their land because they worry those changes will hurt wildlife. But biologists say the opposite is true.

The Wisconsin Young Forest Partnership's goal is to help landowners improve young forest habitat on their properties.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - Police used to teach people at schools and public places to stay put and hide if they faced an active shooter situation.

But the Merrill Police Department is helping to change that thinking.

Analysis of mass shootings shows people who run or fight back often have a better chance of survival.

For example, during the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, 28 of the 30 people who were killed reacted passively, not proactively.

+ Read More

Play Video

WISCONSIN - Gogebic Taconite won't seek an iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin, but the company's announcement last month isn't enough for the Sierra Club.

The environmental group wants a repeal of the state law that relaxed the mine permitting process.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Ministry St. Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander will see some changes this year. Renovations to the hospital started March 16.

+ Read More

TOMAH - Whistleblowers and family members of veterans who died at a Tomah Department of Veterans Affairs medical center say they want lawmakers to enforce accountability and reform the hospital.


+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - The Badgers don't face Kentucky in the Final Four until Saturday, but Northwoods fans are already stocking up on their gear.

Employees at Packerland Plus in Minocqua have already seen plenty of fans come in to buy gear. They usually see their Badgers' sales increase between the Elite Eight and Final Four.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - The City of Milwaukee is proposing paying $6.5 million to a man wrongly convicted of a 1995 murder.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here