Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

WisDOT leaders hopeful for increase in Northwoods railSubmitted: 04/24/2014
Story By Adam Fox


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

ST. GERMAIN - A snowmobile rider from Kenosha died after crashing in St. Germain Saturday night.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office says Jeffrey E. Schultz, 62, crashed into a utility pole while riding on a snowmobile trail near the Rustic Manor along Highway 70.  It happened just before 11 p.m.  Schultz was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 43-year-old man from St. Germain who was riding on the sled was hurt in the crash.  Emergency crews took him to Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff.

"Prior to Friday we had 14 fatalities for the season in the state. We had one in Iron County last night and then of course this one here in Oneida County. As far as I know it's 16. I hope we haven't had any more over the weekend," said DNR Conservation Warden Supervisor David Walz.
 
Walz says both the driver and passenger were wearing helmets. He did not say if alcohol or speed were factors in the crash.

"This power line corridor is fairly straight and wide open. It's a well-traveled corridor. You have traffic going in two different directions. It's more like a highway here [because] it's split, you know there's two different directions that are split in the middle of the trail," said Walz.

Walz says two thirds of all fatalities in the state have involved speed and alcohol. He also says it's important for riders to slow down at night while riding their snowmobiles.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Earlier this week, WJFW shared some tips on how diet and exercise can help prevent cancer. On Saturday, one Northwoods man hosted a cancer prevention seminar to educate the community.

Carl Silbernagel says this weekend was the second time he hosted a cancer seminar.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - For many pet owners, costly visits to the vet burden their bank accounts. The Wausau Police Department hosts an event every February and December so that pet owners can get some basic care for their furry friends at a lower cost.

Pets of all breeds, shapes, and sizes were taken to the Paws and Protect event in Wausau Saturday.

+ Read More

NEW ORLEANS - 8:30 p.m.

New Orleans police say the number of people injured after a vehicle crashed into a crowd watching the Krewe of Endymion parade in the Mid-City section of New Orleans has increased to 28 and a suspect is in custody.

Police Chief Michael Harrison says one person in custody and that he is being investigated for driving while intoxicated. Harrison says police do not suspect terrorism.

Harrison says that 21 people were hospitalized after the crash with five victims in guarded condition. Seven others declined to be hospitalized.

+ Read More

MADISON - State superintendent candidate Lowell Holtz sent a campaign-focused email detailing his support among Republicans using his Whitnall Public School email address during a school day.

The email sent in May appears to be in violation of the state law prohibiting the use of government resources for campaign work.

The email was provided to The Associated Press by the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now which received it through an open records request.

Holtz did not respond to a request for comment.

Former chief state elections administrator Kevin Kennedy says the email does break the law, but it's not likely to rise to the level of something warranting prosecution. Kennedy says it shows more of a lack of judgment than criminal act.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Every girl dreams of the perfect prom dress. But, no matter how dreamy the dress, most girls only wear it once. Rhinelander High School's FBLA/DECA decided to try and get more use out of their dresses.
 
"Everyone doesn't have a lot of money to spend on prom dresses," said FBLA/DECA Co-President Haley Sisel.

+ Read More

OCONOMOWOC - A Wisconsin couple is charged with child neglect and suffocation after police say they gagged and "hog-tied" a 12-year-old boy with duct tape while they went out to dinner in December.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the victim's mother and stepfather, of Oconomowoc, each face misdemeanor counts of child neglect and felony counts of suffocation as parties to the crime. The woman faces an additional charge.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here