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.
The decision was made after U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced Thursday that the federal government was rescinding the $810 million allocated to Wisconsin. Wisconsin Gov.-elect Scott Walker had strongly opposed the state’s high-speed rail plan.
“We can’t stay and manufacture in Milwaukee without the high-speed rail to Madison,” Friend said. “This is terrible news.”
Friend said the state’s decision to back away from the high-speed rail project sends a terrible message to businesses considering locating in the state.
“We were encouraged by the business community,” Friend said. “We are really discouraged by what has happened.”
State residents should also be discouraged, she said. Talgo and the construction of the rail line would have created jobs badly needed in the construction industry.
“For anybody to think that there is another $800 million to invest in another project is foolish,” she said. “There is no other pool of money.”
She said the company has not made a decision on where it would move its operations. The plant was supposed to make trains for all of North America.
— Marie Rohde