Loading

14°F

13°F

11°F

17°F

15°F

19°F

17°F

17°F

15°F

17°F

19°F
NEWS STORIES

Iron mine could help rail service push in NorthwoodsSubmitted: 11/22/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


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

WISCONSIN - Disabilities advocates say Gov. Scott Walker's budget cuts could be devastating to programs that help Wisconsinites live independently.

Changes to the popular Family Care program and other cuts could save the state $33 million over the next two years. But questions remain as to how programs for people with disabilities would work.

Claire Yunker, spokeswoman for the Department of Health Services, says the changes are aimed at preventing abuse in the existing system and creating a more coordinated care regimen.

But Daniel Idzikowski, executive director of Disability Rights says his organization was not consulted about Walker's plan. He says it would drastically restructure Family Care, the program that administers personal care and long-term care services to elderly, disabled and injured Wisconsinites through Medicaid.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - It's the fifth year for the ski-snowshoe event.

The event is a fundraiser for both the Minocqua J1 school, and Arbor Vitae-Woodruff school. More than 350 people went this Saturday.

Event organizer Judy Jurries says that's a lot more than last year.

+ Read More

THREE LAKES - People living in Three Lakes should start running their water.

The Three Lakes Sanitary District wants everyone to run a pencil sized stream of water from one faucet.

It should run from the cold faucet 24 hours a day.

The sanitary district will let people know when they can stop running water.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - Each year, nearly 800,000 people experience a stroke, and it's the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

A Northwoods man who's had six strokes found a way to help others who've experienced them.

Rick Bozic found that writing poems helped him cope with his health problems.

He published a book of poems about a month ago.

He had a book signing on Saturday.

+ Read More

WAUSAU - A local restaurant owner hopes his customers can taste and see how much he loves making traditional Vietnamese noodle soup.

Payao Lo is originally from Laos. He moved to Wausau and opened his Vietnamese restaurant, Pho 76, seven years ago. He's been serving the community ever since.

+ Read More

ST. GERMAIN - One person got hurt in a snowmobile crash this morning.

The crash happened near highway 70 in St. Germain.

Officers say a 19-year-old Beaver Dam woman went off the trail and hit a tree.

The woman had to be airlifted to Wausau hospital.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Office is still investigating.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The ski clinic was held this morning. It only cost $10.

The class was sponsored by Mel's Trading Post and the School District of Rhinelander Community Education Program

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here