New rail system brings more train traffic to Wausau

FOXY Rail System replaced Canadian National in January
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 3:46 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Wausau City Hall has gotten more complaints about train horns sounding during overnight hours. The reason is more train traffic due to a new rail service in the area.

FOXY Rail System took over for the Canadian National officially in January. It includes 650 miles of former CN track. Its interchange points are Appleton, Greenbay, Spencer, and now Wausau.

They are running more frequently than the last company with a new morning route.

“There’s probably some grumblings around more traffic in Wausau,” said Jason Danz, general manager, Foxy Rail System.

“I’ve mostly been hearing from people who are asking why these train horns are blowing at night when we have an ordinance that is saying no we can’t do this. usually, they will abide by our ordinance,” said Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg.

Federal law gives railroads the right not to follow local ordinances. Though, many typically do to maintain good relationships with communities. In Wausau, trains can’t blow their horns between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. with exceptions for dangerous situations. That includes a person or car on the tracks.

“If you’re driving and you’re sick of waiting, the answer is not to cut in front of the train to make sure you’re keeping yourself and everyone in your car and especially the train drivers too safe,” said Mayor Katie Rosenberg.

Mayor Rosenberg said there have been some complaints about trains blocking roads.

“We had a couple of folks over in the Kraft area who were saying that the train was coming through during their shift change and was waiting to switch cars and it was making it hard for employees,” said Mayor Rosenberg.

The mayor’s office spoke with FOXY about the issue and they changed their schedule.

“They’re working on getting to know our routes here and getting to know our community,” said Mayor Rosenberg.

“We are doing our best to minimize those delays to the crossing and trying to keep those crossings from being blocked for extended periods of time. But we’re also trying to bring back business to the Wausau Area and grow that business,” said Danz.

Mayor Rosenberg plans to put up a new informational video about the rail system in the upcoming weeks. If you have questions or concerns you can call the mayor’s office.

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