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

ONEIDA COUNTY - The Northwoods Transit Connections gave more than 2,000 rides to people last month. 

That's a big jump for the Oneida and Vilas county bus service.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - The T.B. Scott Free Library first opened its doors back in the 1800s. Light bulbs had been invented just 10 years prior.

Now, another technological advance will help the Merrill library go solar in the next few months.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - County jails in Wisconsin need more corrections officers. Nicolet College will start a new program to train people who want those jobs. Nicolet will hold an open house early next week to inform prospective students about the training necessary to work in corrections.

+ Read More

VILAS COUNTY - Update:

We now the names of the people involved in a deadly crash that happened in Boulder Junction on Tuesday.

The crash happened at the intersection of Highway 51 and County Highway H just after 3:30 p.m.

+ Read More

WAUSAU - Caitlin Harris recently began her family medicine residency at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. She is originally from California.

"A lot of people say 'what are you doing out here in Wausau' and 'can you handle the winters?'" said Harris. 

You would think that someone who grew up Los Angeles would want to be closer to the hustle and bustle of city life. Not Caitlin.

+ Read More

SUGAR CAMP - On Friday, we will officially call Donald Trump the President of the United States.

One Sugar Camp bar owner has been counting down the days on a sign outside his bar.

"We had people stopping by and taking pictures and coming in and giving me a thumbs up," says Gator's Landing owner, Frank Pirolo.

Pirolo has owned the bar for 12 years and has lived in the Northwoods for 18 years.

"People have been noticing my Obama countdown sign," Pirolo said. "I been doing that since there was 89 days to go. Haven't missed a day."

Pirolo is excited to see President Elect Donald Trump take office. He takes on a straightforwardness not unlike the man he voted for.

"I'm kind of outspoken," Pirolo said. "I've been kind of referred to as the Archie Bunker of Sugar Camp."

He also has a sign outside of his bar that advertises his burgers, but people likely flock to his bar because he's frank.

"I see something on the news that bothers me, I'll come up with a quip and maybe put it out there," Pirolo says.

But that doesn't discourage him.

"I see good things going to happen," Pirolo said. "A lot of people say he's arrogant. My wife and I for the first time in 44 years have agreed on a political person." 

+ Read More

Play Video

ARBOR VITAE - People who suffer from memory loss often don't want to talk about what they're going through. But volunteers hope a new program in the Northwoods will help people reach out and get help.

The Lakeland Memory Cafe opened for the first time Thursday at Peace Lutheran Church in Arbor Vitae.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here