Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Iron mine could help rail service push in NorthwoodsSubmitted: 11/22/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Iron mine could help rail service push in Northwoods
RHINELANDER - A group representing more than a dozen northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan counties would love to see increased rail service in their areas.

The Northwoods Rail Transit Commission believes an iron ore mine in the Penokee Hills would dramatically help their efforts.

The Commission formed last year to push for better freight rail service in the North.

Service by rail companies has slowed or stopped in many areas of the Northwoods.

Rail companies often say there's not enough freight to make service profitable for them.

An operating iron ore mine would increase freight traffic heavily.

"You can see what happened with frac sand mining in the Chippewa (Falls) area. If that mine becomes operational and starts shipping ore, a lot of that could come east toward the port in Escanaba. That will help give reason and volume to reopen that Highway 8 line that we're talking about," says Northwoods Rail Transit Commission Chair Wendy Gehlhoff at a meeting of the Commission Friday in Rhinelander.

Most of the rail line that hugs Highway 8 from Ladysmith to Pembine currently sits unused.

The Canadian National railway shut down service, saying it wasn't profitable.

The director of Michigan Tech University's Rail Transportation Program addressed the Commission Friday.

He stressed that for a rail company to operate, it needs to see a way to make money on carrying freight in a certain area.

"If we have high volumes, low value, long distance - if you don't look at rail or intermodal, you're absolutely nuts. It has to be in the equation, or you're not going to be able to compete with the other regions of this nation or other nations," said Dr. Pasi Lautala.

The Commission's next task is to get better information from companies on how they would use rail service, if it was available.

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





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

RHINELANDER - As he suited up with a bit of swagger and his aviator sunglasses, all eyes were on Greg Fiss and his airplane Wednesday morning.  However, Fiss was quick to deflect the fame on the people watching him.

"They're the rock stars, we're just more visible," Fiss said of ground-based firefighters through his thick southern accent.

Fiss filled up his single-engine air tanker, or SEAT, with 800 gallons of water to show a group of DNR firefighters at Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport how he can help.  The native Kansan has flown a SEAT for 14 years, transitioning from agriculture crop dusting.

+ Read More

LODI - Authorities say at least four people were hurt when a semi crashed into a school bus in south central Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin State Patrol says the crash happened Wednesday morning along northbound Interstate 39 near Lodi, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) northwest of Milwaukee. The patrol says the bus was parked on the shoulder of the interstate when it was struck.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - Prosecutors say a 21-year-old Milwaukee man beat a 15-year-old boy with a hammer, stabbed him in the neck and burned his body over a stolen video game system.

Police arrested Malik Terrell in Chicago on Monday after discovering the burnt remains of Dennis King in an abandoned Milwaukee house Sunday. King's family reported him missing since May 11.

Prosecutors say Terrell and his two younger siblings thought a friend of King's stole their video game system, so Terrell brought King to their house to question him. Investigators say Terrell and one of his siblings started beating King before Terrell attacked him with a hammer and stabbed him in the neck.

+ Read More

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker is sidestepping questions about whether more needs to be done to bolster student safety in the wake of a deadly high school shooting in Texas.

Asked during a question-and-answer period with reporters at the executive mansion Tuesday whether the Santa Fe High School shooting has motivated him to do more to increase school safety, Walker said no one should feel threatened at school.

He touted a bill he signed in March that provides school districts with $100 million in grants for security upgrades in their buildings. He said he hopes the state Department of Justice can get the money out quickly so schools can make improvements before fall classes begin.

+ Read More

MADISON - The U.S. Department of Justice is threatening to sue Wisconsin over its restrictions on overseas voters.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission released a letter Tuesday that it received from the DOJ on May 9. The letter warned the agency is preparing to sue because Wisconsin law doesn't allow temporary overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically or to file unofficial ballots. Under federal law, all voters overseas are entitled to both options regardless of the length of their stays abroad.

The DOJ wants the state to sign an agreement with the agency that it will provide the options. The elections commission plans to discuss the letter during a meeting Thursday.

+ Read More

LAC DU FLAMBEAU -
Tuesday afternoon Tribal Police confirmed Antonio Monserrate Roche is the man found deceased last week in Pokegama Lake.

Once the Coroner's office determines the official cause of death, the Tribal Police Department will issue an update.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - An electric utility company is asking for regulatory approval to construct a $196 million gas pipeline near the Foxconn Technology Group manufacturing complex in southeastern Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that We Energies filed documents last week with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission seeking approval for the nearly 50-mile (80-kilometer) pipeline.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here