Last week Friday, Proud Progressive noted Governor Jim Doyle’s decision to put a “temporary” stop to the planned passenger rail line between Madison and Milwaukee, and not surprisingly, shortly after the “temporary” stop was announced, Spanish train manufacturer Talgo, which opened a manufacturing plant in Milwaukee to build trains for the proposed passenger rail line, announced it may not keep its facility in Milwaukee if the passenger rail line between Madison and Milwaukee is dumped:
The company has already hired about 40 people for its current contracts and plans to have a total of 125 on board by next year, Friend and Barrett said. If it had won contracts to build trains for the Milwaukee-to-Madison line and for other states, it would have kept the plant in operation beyond 2012 and expanded, they said.
“The implication is that a lot of people will be losing their jobs,” after the current work is done, Friend said. “For us, it means we won’t be able to expand. . . . It’s very difficult for us to hire people and tell them it’s only for a year and a half or so.”
And in another case of Scott Walker’s willingness to say anything to get elected, it appears Walker might now be backing off his promise to kill the passenger rail line, as Walker reached out to Talgo in an attempt to to convince the company to stay in Wisconsin (emphasis mine):
Governor-elect Scott Walker reached out to a Milwaukee train manufacturer Friday, seeking to keep its operations in the state long-term as he advocates for stopping a passenger rail project involving the company.
“Governor-elect Walker is reaching out to leadership at Talgo to encourage them to stay in Wisconsin,” Walker spokeswoman Jill Bader said Friday.
A spokeswoman for Talgo, the U.S. unit of the Spanish firm Patentes Talgo, said that Walker told company officials that his decision to stop a proposed Madison-to-Milwaukee passenger rail line is “not final.”
Later in the article, Bader did go on to note Scott Walker is still opposed to the Madison to Milwaukee passenger rail line, leaving me to wonder where exactly Scott Walker stands on the passenger line. Will we see yet another Scott Walker flip-flop as governor-elect Walker (who is now on the hook to create 250,000 jobs per a campaign promise) realizes that his opposition to the Madison to Milwaukee passenger rail line as gubernatorial candidate Walker will actually cause Wisconsin to lose good jobs?
James Rowen of the Political Environment has more on the passenger line between Madison and Milwaukee.