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

APPLETON - At about 100 feet when fully extended, climbing to the top of the Merrill Fire Department's new ladder truck isn't for the faint of heart.

"It's a pretty cool feeling," firefighter Rick Sparks said.

But both standing 100 feet in the air and flat on the ground, Sparks was happy to look at his new truck from all sides.

"From the first ideas of a new ladder to seeing it here today and being able to go up on that platform was pretty neat," Sparks said.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Tammy Walters works to fight for veterans' rights and benefits every day.

The Oneida County Veterans Service Officer will now do that on an even bigger scale.

Walters was elected as the president of the County Veterans Service Officers Association of Wisconsin.

"I'm a retired Senior Chief from the Navy, so I'm used to being a leader," she said. "It was just an opportunity for me to kind of do what I did in the military and take a leadership position."

The state association closely monitors the state legislature on veterans issues. It gives input on bills and brings concerns to the attention of lawmakers.

+ Read More

ANTIGO - You won't find any pesticide sprays at one Antigo apple orchard, but you will find pigs.

Grandview Orchard and Nursery Stock sits on the highest point in Langlade County.

Lisa Rettinger bought the orchard two years ago with the plan to manage it naturally.

She's still in the transition process of going organic, but she doesn't use chemical pesticides.

Orchard pigs do some grazing and eat wind-fallen apples.

+ Read More

COLEMAN - Authorities have arrested a suspect in a threat that shut down a school in Coleman.

The 24-year-old Coleman man is accused of making a threat that prompted the evacuation of the school and the cancellation of classes Monday. The Marinette County Sheriff's Office didn't say what the threat was.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Inside any large fabrication company, you'll find a lot of machinery. Those machines prompt plenty of safety measures inside Rhinelander's Charter NEX Films. 

"Safety is number one and you'll know that when you walk through our door," said Safety Coordinator Ted Towle. 

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Dixie Mathews doesn't have the biggest frame or biggest car, but her heart and trunk are full of love this week.

"This is just part of who we are," Mathews said.

Wednesday morning, Mathews and a handful of First United Methodist church members loaded up cleaning supplies and personal items into the back of her SUV in Rhinelander.  Dixie and the supplies are headed for a relief item distribution center in central Illinois.

+ Read More

MADISON - The state Senate's agriculture committee has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would allow Wisconsin farmers to grow hemp.

The panel voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the proposal. The vote clears the way for a full floor vote in the Senate.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here