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Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed October 6 to 12 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.
“Moving raw materials and finished goods by rail is energy efficient and cost effective, and that is critical in our competitive global economy,” notes WisDOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb. “It is important to highlight the key role that rail plays in our transportation network.”
Key products moved via Wisconsin’s railways include coal, farm and agricultural products, paper, pulp, lumber and wood products, clay, concrete, and other goods and raw materials. There are 13 railroads, including four major railroads, which operate more than 3,500 miles of track in the state. Each year, more than 160 million tons of cargo is moved by rail in Wisconsin.
“Wisconsin’s freight rail system is crucial to businesses across the state,” commented TDA Executive Director Craig Thompson. “Railroads and our rail infrastructure are not necessarily top of mind when people think about the state’s economy, but important industries – agriculture and timber, paper and coal, among many others – rely on Wisconsin’s rail network to stay competitive.”