12 Years After Being Built, Wisconsin’s Talgo Trains Enter Service

12 Years After Being Built, Wisconsin’s Talgo Trains Enter Service

Milwaukee-made trains designed for high-speed service picked up their first passengers last week.

Wisconsin taxpayers paid millions for the Talgo trainsets, but will need to spend even more on a plane ticket if they ever want to ride them.

Instead of welcoming passengers traveling between Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison, the Badger-colored trainsets are ferrying passengers in Lagos, Nigeria.

The first 17 miles of Lagos’ planned 23-mile Red Line opened to passengers on Feb. 29. The line is the second commuter rail line in Africa’s largest urban center, which boasts a population of greater than 21 million. Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, who initiated the project more than two decades ago as governor of the city-state, attended the much-anticipated opening.

“This is the dream realized,” said Tinubu. But it certainly wasn’t Wisconsin’s dream.
In 2010, then-governor-elect Scott Walker refused a $823 million federal grant to build an Amtrak Hiawatha Service extension to Madison and plan an extension to Minneapolis...


Ken Notes: This one still hurts. In 2000 I sat on Tommy Thompson`s Rail Advisory Committee and we worked hard to broker a deal with the privately owned rail lines and right of way for this project. It would have put Wisconsin on the map for both high speed transportation and freight. It would have led to billions in growth for the Milwaukee Madison corridor. It would have created a new industry for the state. Instead we began the partisan politics that is failing both Wisconsin and the Nation.

In perspective we have not lost money on the failed Foxconn project and now with Microsoft on the site we will come out with something even if not what we were hoping for. Regarding rail we lost a lot of real money, real jobs, and real development and the ONLY winner is in Africa. America is broken and we broke it.

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- - Volume: 24 - WEEK: 11 Date: 3/11/2024 7:59:55 AM -