4th Annual Michigan Rail Conference

The 4th Annual Michigan Rail Conference took place in August at Northern Michigan University, Marquette. The conference, the first to take place in the Upper Peninsula, exceeded all expectations with a record turnout of 160 participants. The conference was led by the Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and National University Rail Center (NURail), all under guidance from a Conference Planning Committee.

The conference had 14 industry sponsors and it  featured almost 30 presenters from the rail industry and stakeholder groups, as well as keynote speeches by Mr. Tom Baldini (on economic development in the U.P.) and Mr. Frank Patton (on the Great Lakes Basin). Technical session topics ranged from the future of rail in Michigan, to rail operations and related development in the Upper Peninsula, and plans for the Great Lakes Basin Railroad.

Almost 70 participants stayed an extra day to tour various locations in the Upper Peninsula. These included the Lundin Mining and Mineral Range  Railroad operations in Humbolt, Sawyer Int’l Airport rail access and Potlatch Corporation in Gwinn, and the CN ore docks and rotary dumper and Delta Manufacturing facilities in Escanaba. Escanaba & Lake Superior (E&LS) Railroad sponsored a lunch for the field visits and provided a tour of its Escanaba car repair shops.

For more information of this conference, visit the page: http://www.rail.mtu.edu/event/4th-annual-michigan-rail-conference