Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

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

WisDOT leaders hopeful for increase in Northwoods rail
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

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Three bear cubs find themselves temporarily staying at Wild Instincts after someone illegally shot and killed the mother bear.

The DNR says the bear was shot on Wednesday, but it's still unknown who exactly shot the animal, or why they did it.

+ Read More

SHEBOYGAN - SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) - Authorities have identified two men who died when their single-engine plane crashed in a farm field in Sheboygan County.

The Sheboygan County Sheriff's Office said Saturday the pilot was 67-year-old Dennis Hall of McHenry, Ill., and the passenger was 19-year-old Filip Smecko of Janesville, Wis.




+ Read More

Play Video

ANTIGO - When police showed up to a car crash near Antigo this week, the driver seemed discombobulated and out of sorts.  Sunday night, Pao Vang, 33, told officers he had just flown in from vacation with someone else, even though he was the only one in the car.  But it's what officers did find in that car soon after that has Vang in trouble.

Police towed the car from an intersection near the Langlade County Airport (where Vang said he just came from) to a nearby gas station.  There, officers noticed bags full of what appeared to be marijuana sticking out of duffel bags in plain sight.  They got a search warrant and found 133 pounds of high-grade marijuana.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - You can find a lot of stressed out resort owners headed into Memorial Day weekend.  A Rhinelander-area resort manager feels a little better about that stress now that his business won big.

Brekke's Fireside Resort won the Wisconsin Lodging Directory's 2018 cover photo contest.  The resort beat out 10 other finalists after finishing second in the contest last year.  Resort manager Dan Brekke took the winning photo last fall and found out about the win Friday morning.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - You often see politicians in dress clothes, sitting in the capitol building, voting and arguing on the latest bills. But on Friday, Representative Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) spent a part of his afternoon shadowing a McDonald's employee.

Peter Siegler is a senior at Lakeland Union High School and has been working at the McDonald's in Minocqua for two years. He's on the autism spectrum, but hasn't let that stop him.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Five years ago Army veteran Beth Bowman was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and lost her ability to walk on her own. 

It was crushing news to the once active 43- year- old veteran.

But this week she tried out a new device at the Rhinelander Veterans Affairs Clinic that gives her a new outlook on life. 
 
"She has very limited or no use of some leg muscles," said Rhinelander V.A. Physical Therapist Dr. Wesley Spurgeon. 

The disease broke down the ability for her brain to talk to the nerves in her legs.

 She went from a cane to crutches to a wheelchair. 

"It was kind of crushing, I was using a cane within a year of my diagnosis," said Bowman. 

Last month Spurgeon offered some hope to Bowman. 

He learned about a nerve stimulator at a class.

"We place electrodes over the top of the muscle we want to stimulate," said Spurgeon.

+ Read More

Play Video

WOODRUFF - On Friday a pilot's world turned upside down, literally. 

A float plane flipped and landed upside down on Lake Tomahawk Friday morning. The rollover happened near the Indian Shores Campground in Wooduff.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here