Incoming Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is an ass. Infrastructure improvements help all of us, we need a national transportation policy that doesn’t consist simply of making more interstates. The proposed high speed rail shouldn’t be cast aside for partisan reasons – Republicans ride the rails too.
Preliminary work was halted Friday on Wisconsin’s plans for high-speed passenger train service between Milwaukee and Madison, officials said.
While the announcement by outgoing Gov. James Doyle, a Democrat, suspending design and engineering work did not kill the $810 million federally funded project, the proposed extension to Madison is in jeopardy.
The proposed route would connect with Amtrak’s existing Hiawatha service between Chicago and Milwaukee, and it would increase top train speeds to 110 mph from 79 mph. In addition, Wisconsin has been partnering with Minnesota to extend the high-speed corridor to Minneapolis.
Doyle’s decision follows Tuesday’s election of Republican Scott Walker to become Wisconsin’s next governor. Walker campaigned against building a high-speed rail network, saying his priority would be to repair roads and bridges. He called the passenger rail project a waste of taxpayer money.
Wisconsin Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi, chief architect of the state’s high-speed rail plans, said the project is on hold while he and other officials study “the real-world consequences” of the incoming administration’s agenda.
(click to continue reading Wisconsin high-speed train work halted – chicagotribune.com.)
Meanwhile, Ohio Gov.-elect John Kasich reiterated his opposition to spending money on high-speed train service between Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and other cities in the state.
There’s a Sierra Club petition you can sign, if you are into such things:
Wisconsin recently received grant funds to build a high-speed rail line between Milwaukee and Madison. This project is part of the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, a plan that calls for a 3,000-mile passenger rail network serving nine states with frequent service and top speeds of 110 MPH. Please sign this statement of support for High-Speed Intercity Rail for Wisconsin.