Wisconsin’s freight rail system keeps the state’s economy on track
There are 13 railroads, including four major railroads, which operate more than 3,500 miles of track in the state.
Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed October 19 to 25 Wisconsin Freight Rail Week. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin (TDA) are teaming up to promote, educate and celebrate the freight rail system that contributes to the state’s economy, environment and quality of life.
“Shining the spotlight on the state’s freight rail system is important,” notes WisDOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb. “Many of the finished goods and raw materials we rely on every day are moved on Wisconsin’s railways.”
There are 13 railroads, including four major railroads, which operate more than 3,500 miles of track in the state. Key products moved via Wisconsin’s railways include coal, farm and agricultural products, paper, pulp, lumber and wood products, sand, stone, and other goods and raw materials. Each year, more than 160 million tons of cargo are moved by rail across Wisconsin.
“Wisconsin’s railways are an integral component of Wisconsin’s transportation system,” commented TDA Executive Director Craig Thompson. “While the railroads operate in many ways behind the scenes, there are industries in Wisconsin–agriculture and timber, paper and energy, among many others–that rely on these rail lines every day in order to stay competitive. This has a direct impact on our economy.”
The ninth annual Wisconsin Freight Rail Day is October 20 in Madison and is co-sponsored by Wisconsin’s freight railroads.