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Our readers have their say on the high-speed rail debate

By Joe Yovino

There’s been much debate since the idea of high-speed rail rolled into Wisconsin in the form of $810 in stimulus money.

And many of those viewpoints have landed in our comment section.

Here’s a few highlights from the insightful ongoing conversation at

• From Tuesday’s story titled “Talgo project rolls on despite rail debate:”

Ron Davis: “Why did Doyle and the corrupt Democrats welcome a Spanish company? Why is the deal getting rammed through? (Dummies for Democrats). Why did Jim Doyle steal dollars from the transportation fund during his regime? Where did the money go?”

Karen Jeffries: “Other states are watching this Punch and Judy show (guess who’s pulling the strings), hoping to glom onto that $800 million rail money, and if Walker was able to destroy the long-dreamed-of, long-promised HSR project here with all its related jobs, we still lose. Because by law Wisconsin taxpayers would then have to replace and repay every cent of that $80 million for some other state to build its rail line at our expense.”

Jerad: “I just love how such a large portion of people in this state don’t bat an eye when we’re spending billions of dollars the past fews years for the Marquette, I-94 expansion and soon the Zoo Interchange, but when we get federal money for a PROGRESSIVE mode of transportation there’s an uproar of disapproval. It’s just rediculous.”

Steve J.: “Train, train, go away, don’t come back another day… Why some people have such a love affair with an inflexible, expensive mode of transportation is beyond me. Trains do have their place, however, Wisconsin is not one of them.”

• From last week’s Hot Topics blog: “Robbing rail to pay Hoan is a bridge to nowhere:”

Karen Jeffries: “This line will continue on to the Twin Cities; Madison isn’t the end of the line. If any money is drained away from it, or if Scott Walker wins in November and he isn’t stopped in his threat to halt all work on the HSR line, every penny of that federal money would go back to Washington as a full refund.”

Darra Spalou: “What am amazingly dimwitted perspective. The Hoan should be demolished and replaced with an at-grade roadway that avoids the port. Cheaper, better for everyone in the long run. The goon squad is trying their darndest to neg high speed rail, don’t let them succeed. HSR is the most important infrastructure project in this country since the interstate highway.”

Chris: “We need comprehensive, connected transit of all forms — of which the evil high speed rail is one form. Travel the world, heck, travel to any of our major city neighbors to see just how far behind we are. It’s embarrassing.”


That’s just a snippet from the insightful discussions going on right now. To join in the conversation, visit our dedicated high-speed rail project profile page for all our stories, videos, photos and more.

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Joe Yovino is the Web editor at The Daily Reporter. He thanks you for your comments.


  1. May I ask the obvious question: why is there a debate at all on this approved project now being constructed? What’s next, a debate on whether I-94 should be widened?

  2. The debate on whether or not to waste public tax dollars on a failed mode of transportation (trains) that is not needed in Wisconsin should not be determined by folks that need jobs in construction, Example: Union whiners.
    The folks that want trains do not like vehicles and highways and want to return to an old, inefficient mode of dinasaur transportation. Karen, my dear….the obvious question is: Why is such a poor idea even being debated and considered? We look like fools to the rest of the world.

  3. I’m in full agreement with the previous writer’s last sentence, and if I may, I’d like to paraphrase an old wall placque slogan I’d seen long ago: “Wunce I cuddnt even spel dinasaur, and now I are one.”

  4. The only people who will truly benefit are the people that live a relative short distance from the stops. The entire state wil be squeezed for money yearly to support this. Green Bay, Stevens Point, Rhinelander, Hayward, Oshkosh, why should they be forced to throw hard earned dollars at the project it has no benefit for them.

    I can make Madison in about an 1 1/2 hours from West Bend, if getting 20-25 per gallon with a car its not that great of an expense, if gas was $5 a gallon its still not that great of an expense. The train would not be any faster for me and certainly not cheaper.

    My commute would work something like this and I feel would be quite typical for anyone living in the burbs.
    Leave my home by car drive to freeway flyer bus stop in West Bend. $3
    Leave West Bend by bus arrive at train station $7
    Leave Milwaukee by train arrive Madison $50-$70 roundtrip?
    Leave Madison train station by cab to my appointment $15
    Leave my appointment by cab return to train station $15
    Leave madison by train arrive Milwaukee
    Leave Milwaukee by train arrive West Bend $7
    Leave West Bend by car arrive home $3

    I doubt all these modes of travel would be on my schedule and who knows what wait time in between stops would be not to metion the 3 train stops along the route. If an emergency comes up I have no way to return as I must wait for the next train. It is possible to get some work done on the laptop while on the train, but I also sit in on conference calls or catch up with old clients while driving so that also becomes a wash.

    I am sure we all would take the train once just for kicks, but once the allure wears off we are stuck throwing money into a dark pit forever.

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