Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wisconsin Southern adding UP mileage

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In a transaction approved Wednesday by the SurfaceTransportation Board, Wisconsin & Southern (WSOR) will add 11 miles to itscurrent 700-mile regional rail system, restoring service to a plant site at Kohler, Wis., formerly occupied by Cargill Malt. STB made its approvaleffective May 8, so that WSOR may begin of rehabilitate the track this spring.

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The transaction was initiated by a petition filed Feb. 13, in which WSOR sought approval "to acquire and operate a permanent exclusive freight rail operating easement over approximately 10.95 miles of railroad known as the Kohler Industrial Lead that is currently owned by the Union Pacific and operate approximately 1,000 feet of UP industrial spur track. The State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation has agreed to purchase the railroad and right-of-way assets comprising the line from UP and will contract with the East Wisconsin Railroads consortium to provide service on the line." WSOR will operate the line under contract.

In its decision, STB said WSOR will market the line to both new and former customers.

Railway Age has honored Wisconsin Southern as its 2009 Regional Railroad of the Year, citing its success in attracting new customers to rail. Railway Age will present Wisconsin Central with its award April 27 at the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association's annual meeting in Las Vegas.