Railroads sit at the intersection of many different environmental issues: they are an economical means of transport of people and goods; they save much greenhouse gas emissions; they protect farmland from encroaching highways; BUT they divide cities by snakes of steel rails, often lethally electrified; they force people to stop for long periods while a train passes by (often we feel, far too slowly); they are often seen as the transport of the "upper classes," not the "common people" by people who do not live in the urban parts of the country. Railroads were the first corporate persons. Railroads were the reasons for the regulatory law that now surrounds us. Railroads created the world we live in. Railroads deserve their own page of this environment section!
The first RAILROAD ISSUE we shall address slithers over the line into a new area: hydraulic fracturing, which does NOT occur in Wisconsin because we do not have rock young enough to have oil and gas deposits. However, as discussed in our Mining pages, we do have the SAND that is used in the hydraulic fracturing (or "fracing") process to prop open the fractures in the rock so that the oil and gas can escape and be pumped out. As it turns out, Wisconsin is NOT just in at the birth of this fossil fuel, so to speak! We are also in at its TRANSPORTATION! See our slimy, dangerous oil trains map to find out where these oil trains might be near you! And check out the related slide show of the 2013 train wreck in Quebec and the video if the April 2014 derailment in Lynchburg VA to see what MIGHT happen in La Crosse, Columbus or your town Wisconsin!
Click here to download a printable copy of the map that includes parts cut off on the above!