In a modest milestone for President Barack Obama’s high-speed rail vision, test runs started zooming along a small section of the Amtrak line between Chicago and St. Louis at 111 mph Friday.
The federal government has reimbursed Wisconsin for money the state spent on a high-speed rail plan.
The Federal Railroad Administration says a route running along the Mississippi River is the most feasible and reasonable for a proposed high-speed commuter train between the Twin Cities and Chicago.
Gov. Scott Walker’s rejection of $810 million in federal grant money for high-speed rail means the state must now spend about $10.2 million to upgrade the Milwaukee Intermodal Station.
Wisconsin could become a Midwest black hole of modern train travel after the U.S. Department of Transportation’s decision Monday to award more than $400 million to the Badger State’s neighbors for rail projects.
There are 22 rail cars loaded with steel in a Madison rail yard slowly siphoning money from the state.
Talgo Inc.’s chief executive officer said the company plans to cap its Milwaukee workforce at about 65 employees to avoid layoffs when it moves from train manufacturing to maintenance in 2012.
The state and some Wisconsin counties are stuck with the $35 million tab to upgrade a freight line between Madison and Watertown now that federal high-speed train money is gone.
Talgo Inc., the Spanish manufacturer of high-speed train cars, will abandon its plant in Milwaukee in 2012, according to Nora Friend, a spokeswoman for the company.
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