Transportation

Placing Bets on Intermodal Rail

Talking with Rodney Kreunen, Wisconsin Railroad Commissioner-Emeritus, one wonders if he ever got the moniker "Rapid Rodney?"

The Madison-based ferroequinologist, which is a fancy term for railroad enthusiast, can quickly tick off the merits of intermodal rail when high-speed rail (between cities) and commuter rail have yet to be fully developed in Wisconsin.

Feeling Used: Thorstad Transition Presents Business Challenges

There still is a sliver of a chance that Thorstad Chevrolet will remain a General Motors dealer, but the company is realistically proceeding with plans to sell used cars when its GM contract expires in 2010. That sliver of hope comes in the form of Congressional legislation that would prevent the shutdown of thousands of dealerships nationwide, which has brought GM to the table to work out a compromise on dealer closings.

Bus Charters with a Cause: A company where cancer is a shared experience, not a barrier.

It was Kevin Patrick’s lucky day.

Recently, while waiting at a Madison park-and-ride planning to hop a Van Galder Bus to O’Hare Airport for a business trip, a Midwestern Bus Lines bus pulled up to the landing. The door opened. A young man stepped out, “Who’s heading to O’Hare?” he asked, and Patrick raised his hand. “We can take you for $25 cash, and we’re not stopping in Janesville,” he said.

Start-Up Company: Key Auto, LLC

Key Auto is a chance Noel Keene needed to take — and took in July 2008, when he entered the buy-here/pay-here system of directly financing vehicles to people with negative or nonexistent credit.

The Freight Train Engineer

On a snowy January morning with below-zero wind chills, Wisconsin & Southern locomotive engineer Robert Hasheider (27) scans a bulletin board for updates, instructions and advisories. It is 5 a.m., and though this one-way trip from Madison to Janesville is a familiar one, the morning's extreme cold and heavy snowfall necessitate extra precautions. "The train is affected by cold weather every minute," he explains, "and everything takes longer." Air brakes, for example, must be adjusted on each car because poor conditions can seriously impair a train's ability to stop. "The number one thing, is safety," he says.

In Business magazine