Northwoods Rail Transit Commission

Getting grant money to buy railroad cars to haul logs is a priority for the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission.

The recently found out they didn't get a grant to get the process going, but Chairperson Wendy Gehlhoff says last month the group agreed to apply for another state D.O.T. grant....

"....grant money for (acquiring) 40 log cars and that would be matched by 10 log cars from CN for a total of 50 cars to be used by any rail company in the Great Lakes forest region...."

CN is the abbreviation for Canadian National Railway.

Northwoods Rail Transit Commission

A group hoping to preserve or even expand freight rail service has been gathering information  to present to the last rail line in the region that there is business here that needs freight service.

The Northwoods Rail Transit Commission has 19 counties from northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula. Canadian National is the rail line the group is working with to keep the freight lines going in this region.

Wendy Gelhoff from Florence county is the Northwoods Rail chairperson. She says they've been working to show Canadian National the numbers...

Governor Scott Walker says he’s still looking at options for how to fund the state’s roadways long term. 

Stopping in Minocqua Wednesday, Walker said it’s clear that there needs to be a new solution. 

“The gas tax is really not sustainable.  As more and more vehicles get better miles, the number of gallons of gas purchased has gone down substantially while the vehicle miles are the same or more, so the wear and tear is greater, even while the number of gallons of gas purchased is less.”

Several northern Wisconsin and Michigan counties are working on a grant to buy rail cars to lure more rail business in the region.

Wendy Gehlhoff from Florence county chairs the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission.

The group has been meeting quarterly to keep rail service viable in the region. Canadian National provides service in this region.

She says one approach is to buy rail cars to haul logs, called the Great Lakes Log Car Fleet...

An Upper Peninsula college professor says communication breakdowns between business and the railroads is hurting commerce in northern Wisconsin and the U.P.

The Northwoods Rail Transit Commission met last week in Rhinelander. The group is composed of 11 Wisconsin counties and two from the U.P., trying to increase rail use in the region.