Trains back in action on old railroad tracks - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Trains back in action on old railroad tracks


Cameron (WQOW)- The last time trains ran along Highway 8 in Barron and Rusk Counties, we were preparing for Y2K.

"As of now, this rail line is open," exclaims Canadian National Railway Spokesman Patrick Waldron.

Santa got some practice in Tuesday, delivering presents to little boys and girls.  He was doing it aboard a train that's been in hibernation for more than a decade.

"We've invited children in these communities to come onboard the train, visit with Santa, get a little gift bag, and hopefully learn a little bit about some rail safety," Waldron explains.

Canadian national spent $35 million to rebuild the track this year so that Superior Silica Sands could use the line to ship its sand.

"We're ready to start moving frac sand," says Waldron.  "Already we've moved about 95 empty cars that will be hauling sand to the plant just to the west of here."

The line runs from Barron to Ladysmith.  Now that trains are back on the tracks, Canadian National is working to alert residents; hoping to avoid any accidents.

"We have more than 50 public crossings going active in this line and just this week, you'll start to see regular train service resume," Waldron points out.

The train made stops in Bruce, Weyerhaeuser, Cameron, Barron and Ladysmith on Tuesday. Canadian National says every day one train will be going through the counties in each direction, traveling at about 25 miles per hour.

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