Posts Tagged ‘Trains’

Conductor Doyle, Madison the next stop on your train?

July 17, 2009

First off, trains are not toys. And people who put on the conductor’s hats and play with model train sets are not dorks – they are the way out of this recession. Anyway:

Gov. Jim Doyle seems to making good on a pledge to develop mass transit in Wisconsin.

The state is buying two high-speed trains that will operate along the Milwaukee-Chicago corridor and be assembled in Wisconsin, Gov. Jim Doyle announced today.

Doyle said the state will make the $48 million purchase from a Spanish train company, and two additional trains could be bought if the state is awarded federal stimulus money for that purpose.

Doyle said the purchase represents a commitment to high-speed rail that no other state is making.

Kristin Czubkowski wonders aloud whether buying the trains makes it more likely for stimulus dollars to come. I would say yes. Not only will setting up the system make the case to the feds more convincing, but as the article points out, states generally share costs for passenger rail with the federal government. The good news is that $8 billion has already been set aside by D.C. for high speed rail. Frankly, more of the stimulus should have been targeting such meaningful development.

If this money proves to be available imagine the things Wisconsin could do with mass transit. A rail link to Milwaukee from Madison? Another one up to the Twin Cities? I think Green Bay would be a bit of a stretch, however, it would be the reality today if we had only begun this worthy investment decades ago.