Bad choice on high-speed rail

If my memory serves me right, I remember back in 2010 Gov. Scott Walker had just backed out of a contract with a railcar manufacturer called Talgo.

Talgo was making railcars in Milwaukee and had a contract to build two rail sets for the state of Wisconsin. Since Wisconsin withdrew from the contract with Talgo, Wisconsin taxpayers were on the hook for $50 million to settle the lawsuit. In addition, Wisconsin taxpayers also paid for the upgrade to the Amtrak station in Milwaukee and upgrades to the Milwaukee to Chicago line to the tune of $250 million that would have been paid for if Wisconsin accepted the federal money for high-speed rail.

OK, that is water over the dam. Talgo had moved to Washington state to make railcars. Guess what? They are still making railcars in Washington state. They have even moved back into Milwaukee to set up a maintenance facility. Mayor Tom Barrett and Alderman Khalif Rainey said Talgo’s return means more jobs.

Fast forward to Foxconn and Wisconsin today — $4 billion in tax credits and questionable job creation. Those jobs from Talgo look pretty darn good to their employees and the state of Wisconsin. Good move Republicans.

Thomas Davenport

Eau Claire