WisBusiness: In meeting with IOC, Doyle touts potential Chicago-Madison rail connection

By Greg Bump

After meeting with members of the International Olympic Committee, Gov. Jim Doyle said Wisconsin “has an enormous stake” in Chicago landing the Olympics; Madison would be the site of cycling competitions if the Illinois city is chosen.

Besides the benefit of Madison hosting the cycling events, there would be spillover for state hotels and other tourist attractions. Doyle also said some teams may use facilities in southeastern Wisconsin for pre-Olympics training.

Doyle testified before the committee’s Evaluation Commission Monday in Chicago. He told reporters in a conference call following the hearing that he spoke with commission members individually following his testimony about the possibility of high-speed rail connecting Chicago to Madison and beyond. Doyle said they were “very impressed” by the potential for such a rail line, which Doyle is hoping will get built using federal stimulus funds.

“They were very interested in the potential of high-quality, high-speed passenger rail connecting Chicago to Madison,” said Doyle, adding that if federal funds are available, the line could extend from Madison to the Twin Cities.

Doyle said the commission is expected to make its decision some time this fall.

Listen to the conference call