Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

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

Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
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

Play Video

NORTHWOODS - Friday's snowstorm will keep student athletes on edge during their playoff games over the weekend. 

The girls' basketball playoffs continue on Friday, but if schools cancel games it could cause some problems on the court.

Lakeland is scheduled to play Mosinee at home on Friday.

If school gets canceled, Friday's game would move to Saturday and the regional final game would move to Sunday.

This leaves players with one fewer day to prepare for the sectional finals.

+ Read More

Play Video

FOREST COUNTY - When people commit drug crimes, they often go to jail or pay a fine. But Forest County wants to give addicts another option for battling addiction.

The Forest County Circuit Court and Potawatomi Tribal Court have come together to help addicts.

An alternative option, a Drug Court in Forest County, will give people battling addiction a chance to change their lives through social involvement.

+ Read More

Play Video

ST. GERMAIN - Wisconsin's archery deer hunt ended more than a month ago. However, archers don't have to hang up their bows until next year, because an archery shop in St. Germain offers an indoor shooting league for people to target practice during the winter weather.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - The owner of Nobbe's North on Highway 70 in Eagle River knew that one day someone would buy a winning lottery ticket from her store. On Wednesday, her prediction came true.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - In the Northwoods, you don't often hear of people trying to extend winter.

But this year, Andrew Bartelt had no choice.

Bartelt is one of the owners of the Tomahawk Speedway, and he and his crew have been working hard to get everything ready for the Winter Hatchet Nationals this weekend.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - People suffering from alcohol and drug addiction can now seek treatment at a new center in Minocqua.

The Family Health Center of Marshfield opened its new clinic Thursday.

The HOPE Consortium is a group of medical providers dedicated to treating addiction. 

FHC Executive Director Greg Nycz said they came together to make this center happen.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - A volunteer team that backs up emergency responders hoped someone would donate a generator for their new mobile canteen trailer.  They just never expected that donation to come in so soon.

Salvation Army Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) area coordinator Paul Clay fired up his new Generac generator Thursday afternoon.

Barbara Ann Just from Boulder Junction heard about Clay's need after Newswatch 12 ran a story on SATERN receiving the canteen trailer donation.  Just called to offer enough money to buy the generator that night.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here