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High-speed rail vote coming Tuesday

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature’s budget committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to approve receiving $810 million in federal stimulus money to install high-speed rail between Madison and Milwaukee.

President Barack Obama’s administration last month awarded the money to Wisconsin as part of $8 billion in rail projects nationwide.

The money would be used in Wisconsin to upgrade and refurbish train stations and install safety equipment on the Madison-to-Milwaukee leg of a line that stretches from Minneapolis to Chicago.

The Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee is set to vote on accepting the money Tuesday. The committee is controlled by Democrats, which makes approval of the money likely.



  1. Let’s put aside for a moment all the positive benefits this HSR line will offer.

    We are getting this federal stimulus jobs grant of nearly one trillion dollars into Wisconsin and there are an estimated 13,000 jobs dependent on this grant.

  2. David A. Wessely

    You use the word ” estimated”. Why ? Should not an accurate breakdown of work force be able to be identified ? Recent data shows government employs more than the manufacturing industry in our fair state. Is this the majority group dependent on this grant ?
    What other sector is “dependent” on this “grant” ?

    What conditions does this grant carry ? ie: EBE; MBE or WBE requirements

    If HSR was a viable business; would you not agree, a railline would already be operating as a transport of passengers to Madison. Badger Busline; Airport Express Wisconsin and Wisconsin Coachlines or someone would certainly have banded together to provide ?

    Also, is not HSR competeing with these existing busline companies for the very same “travel dollar” with the limitations of not having ‘route change’ as the market dictates ?

    Plus these buslines do better routing for lower ticket cost. What consumer would pay a higher price for restricted travel. The HSR product DOES NOT fit the marketplace! So why spend money to just spend ?

  3. David A. Wessely, by your logic, why do we pay for freeways? A long time ago a private business would have opened their own freeway if it were a profitable business. Isn’t that right?

  4. David A. Wessely

    Henry Ford gave us the automobile which openned up a whole new life style. Transportation on roads was a method to move virtually anything. A road was basically cut where travel was needed to move people or product to an end out destination. Who originally cut these swaths?

    Individuals freely move to where their needs took them along these roadways. The masses benefited from this early style system.

    What group of todays society benefits from this proposed HSR. I am sure the railway wouldn’t appreciate a plumber, carpenter or electrician carrying their tool boxes or materials onto the train. I also don’t believe you would appreciate waiting for a plumber to catch the train to fix the water leak at your house.

    This proposed HSR system does not fullfill any unaddressed needs from what I see. Where are the articles, stories or investigative reports into the existing train delays caused by overcrowding at the stations? Are there any that missed making the mainstream media?

    Let’s get a need first then service that need. Or did I really miss the point and “A Field of Dreams” exists anywhere?

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