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Cudahy considers rail for Iceport property

By Sean Ryan

The city of Cudahy, which owns the former Iceport property, is studying whether to build a railroad spur through the site to attract development.

“I’d like to see manufacturing on that site,” said Mayor Ryan McCue.

The city bought the foreclosed 31.2-acre site at sheriff’s auction in June and plans to redevelop the land. The property was owned by Sportsites LLC, Cudahy, which planned to build a 220,000-square-foot Iceport skating rink on the property.

That plan failed in 2004, and nothing has been built on the site.

The city is drafting a plan to build a railroad spur that would branch off the Union Pacific Railroad track along the eastern border of the property, said Lara Fritts, Cudahy economic development director. The spur would let companies load and unload freight on the site.

The city completed the first phase of a study that revealed, from an engineering standpoint, the spur can be built, she said. The next step is to negotiate with Union Pacific, which owns the track, to get permission to build a spur, she said.

As a selling point for the site, the city is willing to build the spur, Fritts said. But Cudahy will not build it until a tenant has committed to the site, she said.

The city also has applied for a $200,000 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources grant to prepare the property for development, McCue said. He  said he expects a response from the DNR this week.

McCue and Fritts would not reveal the names but said many companies are talking to the city about developing the site.


  1. What is this, the ‘Train Du Juour?” High speed flavor of the day?
    We’re building a hockey rink in Mequon…can we get a train there, or why not to the Petit center? And there’s this great water park in the dells, let’s run a train there. Oy Vey!
    Note to Mayor McCheese: Have you lost your mind? Trains do not fuel economic development, good highways, with easy accessability and convenience does.
    Two such areas imediately come to mind::
    I-94 and Hwy. 83 , The Delafield area, absolute development boom
    I-43 and Hwy. 60. The Grafton area, huge growth.

    The list is goes on, and all along major highway corridors, and trains have NOTHING to do with their growth.

  2. This will be a little freight spur into a Cudahy business-development area, and it has absolutely nothing to do with high-speed rail or passenger rail service.

    And *of course* rail is crucial to business development nationally. Click the link for more.

  3. Hey T.E.A.,
    You are terribly and sadly wrong. And, unfortunately, your unfounded knee jerk comments are indicative and reflective of a long growing general ignorance in the population that is troubling. I’d like to blame it on the failure of public education (undoubtedly partly true), but then my comments would be as shallow as yours.

    How did we get to the point in this country where people are so quick to demonstrate that they know very little about just about anything? They sound like trained parrots mimicking strange, cult-ish mantras. I suppose for the intellectually challenged or lazy, this is an easy attempt to cover up short comings while gaining a sense of “belonging.”

    “Trains do not fuel economic development.” Simply an embarrassing comment. Trains facilitated this country’s rise to economic dominance. Go to a library. Check out an adult level book regarding the history of trains in America. Study (you might want to get some help with this part) chapters covering the period from 1850 through 1960 and get a clue.

    Obscene increases in taxation starting in the late 1950’s along with the largest transfer of wealth (prior to Obamacare) took place in this country when government entered into the unholy alliance with big oil, the big three car makers, and the road -building industry, all to the detriment of privately owned and operated rail and transit. Roads and highways have been overbuilt ever since. Not only has the tax payer been extorted for huge sums to build the roads originally, now they are told huge sums must be extorted from them to barely maintain what we have built, while plans continue for myriad new highway miles. That, my friend, is insanity. Trains have been, are now, and will remain a backbone of the real economy…you know, the one where things are actually produced. Retail growth produces virtually nothing. Our consumption based economy has come to an end and was never sustainable to begin with. Let’s get back to work.

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