Industrial Transportation returns to the Copper Country?
By Kevin Musser

Escanaba & Lake Superior set for Railroad barge across Lake Superior.

Summary from an article in the Daily Mining Gazette, dated 1/3/97
E&LS have announced that during the next two years they will be developing a rail-barge system to operate out of Ontonagon. The barges will have capability to carry 24-28 cars. Four barges have been purchased and are currently being improved for work on Lake Superior. The leveling dock which connects the tracks to the barge has also been purchased and only has to be placed in the water.The Stone Container Corp is interested in this alternate shipping route and is one of the sites which may be selected as the location of the dock. The E&LS intend to run the barges and future development may lead to warehouses and distrubution services which would employ people year round. This program is a model for another system which may be installed in Marinette/Menominee that would ship products to Chicago.

Rail service to the Keweenaw getting closer.

Summary from an article in the Daily Mining Gazette, dated 1/21/97

Within the next few months the Wisconsin Central will attempt to purchase the Green Bay-Ishpeming line as well as the line from Arnheim to Chassell. Industries wishing to transport out of the Keweenaw will be able to truck products to Chassell where they will be loaded on to freight cars. This line will be a direct north-south line to Winconsin instead of the, first east and then south route, which currently exists. This is the first movement to reinstate rails to this region since the first idea was presented a few years ago. At that time a line from Arnheim to Lake Linden was proposed, but Houghton offiicals stopped the attempt to retrack the town. The plan now is to run a train a couple of times per week and should expect to reduce some of the large logging truck traffic on US-41 and other area roads. Empties would be left in Chassell for loading during the other days.
An optimistic date would be this fall, but 1998 is stated as a more realistic date.