Friday, March 22, 2013

Illinois Gets $808 Million Train Business Walker Destroyed Here

When Scott Walker forced the cancellation of a Madison-to-Milwaukee Amtrak line in 2011, he and legislators also broke a contract to build train equipment for several states at a developing Milwaukee factory in the economically-depressed 30th. St. corridor.

All to satisfy a Walker campaign promise to block the federally-funded Madison-to-Milwaukee high-speed rail construction plan which Walker said would cost the state $10 million annually (horrors! - - when governors routinely budget billions to build and millions to repair, maintain and plow highways) - - but which state officials said would cost the state as little as $750,000 annually. 

And to deny a legacy to Gov. Jim Doyle, (D) who'd set these wheels in motion in cooperation with Pres. Obama - - even if it meant squashing a new industry in the state with regional and national implications.

Today Illinois is celebrating the news that $808 million for new trains will be managed or built in Illinois for delivery to five states - - with manufacturing to take place at a plant in Rochelle, IL that is about 25 miles south of Beloit:

Locomotives capable of exceeding the 110-mph speed limit on the passenger rail corridor between Chicago and St. Louis will be bought for Illinois and four other states under a process the Illinois Department of Transportation will lead, officials said Thursday.

The Federal Railroad Administration selected IDOT to manage the multistate procurement of at least 35 next-generation locomotives for high-speed rail corridors in Illinois, California, Michigan, Missouri and Washington state, Gov. Pat Quinn said.
The Illinois Governor spelled it out:
Today’s announcement is part of the governor’s commitment to bring Illinois’ and our nation’s transportation systems into the 21st century.
“This decision by the federal government is a testament to Illinois’ role as a national leader in high-speed rail,” Governor Quinn said. “This important multi-state procurement is a key to success for high-speed rail throughout the nation, and I have directed my administration to move forward quickly.”
More lost jobs for Wisconsin, where Walker's 250,000 new jobs promise is failing in part because he killed rail construction, manufacturing, R&D and repair employment in our state.

In the initial announcement of the Milwaukee contracts:
Not only will Wisconsin's Talgo trains be built in Milwaukee, the Talgo rail car assembly plant will support the delivery of Talgo trains throughout the country and create hundreds of jobs through its supply chain vendors in the Midwest and U.S. Last week, the state of Oregon announced it has purchased two Talgo train sets that will be assembled in Wisconsin - saving both states millions of dollars.
This means Walker and his ideologically-motivated legislative allies snatched paychecks and economic security right out from under Wisconsin workers and families. Food off their tables. Shoes from the kids.

Walker also sent wind energy jobs to Illinois. 

Walker a job creator?

He did more than stick it to Milwaukee, where wind turbines are made and train sets were on the table.

He harpooned us.

For God's sake:

What a fraud.


Anonymous said...

Such a tragedy for Wisconsin. I hope this news hits the JS. Maybe in your blog at least?

Anonymous said...

On top of losing the federal money, Talgo is suing Wisconsin and Walker for $50 million:

Kim Grimmer said...

Only thing I know of that was wrong in your post is that Doyle harpooned his own legacy. He was in a position to sign the contract with the Feds to ensure the federal money for high speed rail between Madison and Milwaukee was secured. He played political chicken with Walker on it. Walker acted stupidly. Doyle was Machiavellian. Both contributed to the current state of affairs.

Kim Grimmer, Madison

James Rowen said...

Walker made clear he would reject the funding after he took office - - so Doyle stopped spending the initial $$ so the rest could be sent elsewhere. That's my understanding.

Anonymous said...


Under pressure from the right wing after Walker won the governorship and both houses went GOP, Doyle allowed the new governor to make that decision. Republicans in this state are just plain mean, vicious and stupid. I'm saving every dime I make and when the economy clears, I'm GTFO of this hillbilly state. You can keep it. It is never coming back.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Republicans in this state are just plain mean, vicious and stupid.


I would remove the "in this state" part for even more accuracy, however.

Anonymous said...

The whole project was set in motion by Rep. Tommy Thompson. Doyle just pulled the trigger.

nonheroicvet said...

Walker kept us in the game though - We still get to help pay for it.

Betsey said...

Not only has he wreaked havoc on Wisconsin's 'publics' such as education, environmental protection, collective bargaining, legislative process, free speech, and clean energy initiatives--to name BUT A FEW--he's also turning us into the laughingstock of the nation.