Gov. Doyle: Announces $823 million for passenger rail in Wisconsin, will create thousands of jobs

Contact: Laura Smith, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162

Recovery Act Will Build Milwaukee-Madison Route and Upgrade Milwaukee-Chicago Line

MILWAUKEE – Governor Jim Doyle and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced Wisconsin is receiving $823 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to build high-speed passenger rail service, creating thousands of jobs.

“Through high-speed rail, President Obama is making a major investment in the future of Wisconsin’s economy,” Governor Doyle said. “This is a major project that will create thousands of jobs in Wisconsin and invest in our long-term growth, connecting the major centers of commerce in Wisconsin and the Midwest. With the Obama Administration’s support, Wisconsin is poised to be the nation’s leader in high speed rail manufacturing. This was a national competition and the results clearly demonstrate that we put forth a very strong application.”

Wisconsin is receiving $810 million to build high-speed passenger rail service between Milwaukee and Madison, including construction of track, passenger stations, signaling and other infrastructure improvements. Wisconsin is also receiving $12 million to install crossovers between Chicago and Milwaukee to improve service on this highly-popular route. The project is estimated to create thousands of jobs in Wisconsin in fields like construction, engineering, design and supply firms.

In addition to Wisconsin’s funding, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has received $1 million to make final determinations on a route between Wisconsin and the Twin Cities. The study is the next step toward connecting Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison with the Twin Cities.

Construction of the Milwaukee-Madison line is scheduled to begin by the end of 2010, and should be completed by January 2013. Wisconsin will also purchase two additional state-of-the-art train sets – for four total new sets – that will be assembled and maintained in Wisconsin. In addition, the state will invest in eight new energy-efficient locomotives that will be built in the United States – hopefully in Wisconsin.

In July, Governor Doyle signed an agreement with the Spanish train manufacturer Talgo to put two Talgo train sets into service in Wisconsin and to establish new assembly and maintenance facilities in the state. The rail car assembly plant will support the delivery of Talgo trains throughout the country.

Over the next 10 years, high-speed passenger rail in Wisconsin will eliminate 7.8 million car trips, save 27.6 million gallons of fuel, eliminate nearly 270,000 tons of carbon emissions, and create more livable communities with less congestion.

Governor Doyle and Secretary Donovan were joined by Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett for the announcement at the Intermodal Station in Milwaukee. The Governor thanked them for their support, and recognized Congressman Dave Obey and Senator Herb Kohl for their efforts to help Wisconsin win 100 percent of its passenger rail funding request.

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