Loading
Search
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
What We're Working On Submitted: 08/24/2016

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

39-year-old Mark Spietz is accused of breaking into and stealing items from the home where Ashlee Martinson is believed to have killed her mother and stepfather in early March of 2017. We'll bring you details from Oneida County court where Spietz's trial is taking place.

We'll bring you local reaction to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission's vote in favor of allowing members to make political donations.

And the Northwoods United Way hopes to encourage natural working leaders to bring working skills into their community. We'll take you to Leaderfest in Harshaw where the goal was to help people grow professionally and personally.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

MADISON - Recently the Wisconsin Ethics Commission made a decision that some don't find to be to ethical.

Rhinelander's Tim Vocke, former judge and former member of Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board, does not agree with the state's decision to allow board members to make donations to political campaigns.

Vocke said, "there's no benefit except to the power structure," and he continued by saying, "and when you're dealing with ethics in the government arena, I don't think you have any business belonging to any party and certainly not supporting political candidates."

+ Read More

WASHINGTON - Donald Trump's new Wisconsin women coalition includes some of the most powerful politicians in the state, and two who were caught up in a highly publicized investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's county office.

The unveiling of the statewide group Wednesday comes as polls show Trump trailing Democrat Hillary Clinton overall in Wisconsin and among women.

+ Read More

MADISON - Unemployment fell in most of Wisconsin's largest cities and counties last month.

New data the state Department of Workforce Development released Wednesday shows unemployment dropped in 30 of the state's 32 largest cities from June to July. Mount Pleasant and Racine were the only two cities that showed an increase. Racine had the highest unemployment of any city at 7.2 percent, up from 6.9 percent in June.

+ Read More

PELICAN LAKE - Many college students are heading back to campus soon. But for two Northwoods natives who just graduated, they wanted to come back home and start their own business.

Mike Fowler and Weston Lowe brought their diplomas back to the Pelican Lake this summer with a mission to start a new business.

"This year we both finished school and decided it was time to continue this and expand," said owner and operator Weston Lowe.

The 22 and 23-year old friends have been working together since high school. To make a living they have now started their own business, Pelican Piers. It's a dock and lift removal system.

"I took it upon myself and the help of my business partner, Mike to create something that would make it possible to live in the Northwoods and make a living," said Lowe.

Removing docks and lifts can damage the shorelines. Both Fowler and Lowe wanted to avoid destroying the beauty of the Northwoods.

"With the shoreline deteriorating every year, this will help. We can set the lift on the shore and we don't have to drag it and knock rocks off into the water after people have paid to get that fixed," said owner and operator Mike Fowler.

The easiest way for them to maintain the shorelines was to buy a 7,000 pound tri-toon. This machine simply lifts, moves and then sets down the equipment safely on the shoreline.

"In the bed, you can see the black part of the boat, that's the forks. They extend out and we can pick up any boat lift, any dock and set it on your shore without destroying your riff raff," said Fowler.

Getting their business started at such a young age has had its challenges, like with funding for their barge. But staying in the Northwoods has made it worth it.

"The freedom of owning my own business and being able to be out on the lake everyday working," said Lowe.

+ Read More

HARSHAW - A lot of people like to separate their work life and personal life.

The Northwoods United Way hopes to encourage natural working leaders to bring those skills into their community. 

It held Leaderfest in Harshaw Wednesday.

+ Read More

MADISON - Wisconsin's average score on the ACT college entrance exam dropped below the national average in the first year that all graduating seniors took the test.

Wisconsin's average 20.5 score is below the national average of 20.8. The state score is down 1.7 points from last year when 73 percent of seniors took the exam.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here