After Wisconsin last week elected a governor opposed to high-speed train expansion, outgoing Wisconsin Gov. James Doyle put a stop to planning for a Madison-to-Milwaukee high-speed train route.
Nonetheless, Minnesota officials are going ahead with their plans for a fast train that will connect the Twin Cities and Madison, says the Winona Daily News. A joint study between Minnesota and Wisconsin departments of transportation continues to move forward, Dan Krom, director of the MnDOT office of Passenger Rail, told the paper.
“We haven’t heard anything different,” Krom said.
Last week, MnDOT sent out a request for proposals for a consultant to examine route options, including a line through Winona, the paper said.
Instead of using $810 million in stimulus money set aside for the rail planning, Wisconsin would now like to put it toward roads, instead. The feds, though, say no. That led Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to say that if Wisconsin Gov.-elect Scott Walker really doesn’t want the rail money, he’ll take it for Illinois.
It’s unclear how this will ultimately affect the Minnesota project, but state officials hope to have determined by spring a proposed route for the proposed train. From the Twin Cities to Winona? Or a swing past Rochester?