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2nd June
2010
written by Minx

Railroad Tracks by 3rd St., Wausau WI

I’ve always been fascinated by railroad tracks. They evoke a sense of movement, of potential, of commerce and business. And, in the evening hours, they also silently allow you to walk along their steel-straight paths toward some unknown destination. They are, in those moments, catalysts of thought, fertile ground for meditation and introspection. You can trust railroad tracks because they are true and straight, and will always take you somewhere. 

And, there is the other side to the railroad tracks, that of danger and crisis, when in a split moment there can be an incredibly huge, unstoppable engine with cars packed behind it barreling down on you. The potential for beauty and disaster flow hand in hand on a railroad line.  

I’ve walked many of Wausau’s railroad tracks, day and night. They’ve always been a source of comfort to me. As long as there are railroad tracks coming into a city, there is work being done, a connection to the industrial world outside, and growth.Railroads are integral to the manufacturing industries that make this state thrive. It is forecast that in 10 years, the need for cheap transportation (i.e., railroads) will double, partially becaue of the overseas markets (http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/projects/state/docs/rail-issues.pdf). Another interesting point: rail is still the number one mode of transport for coal, Wisconsin’s primary fuel. Other products that rail moves in, out, and through Wisconsin include: 

  • clay
  • concrete
  • glass
  • stone
  • food or kindred products
  • pulp, paper, or allied products
  • lumber or wood products
  • coal
  • nonmetallic minerals
  • farm products
  • metallic ores

All of these primary products move quietly through our city and state on a daily basis, keeping our major industries alive. 

Though the state of our economy is only now climbing back to what it once was, whenever you see an active railroad track, remember that industry and commerce are still very much alive and will keep this city, state, and nation running long into the future. 

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