Wisconsin shuts down some high-speed train plans, but Minnesota apparently didn’t get the memo

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?

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 11/10/2010 - 01:09 pm.

    “We haven’t heard anything different, Krom said.”

    That statement should be inserted into the definition of fecklessness.

  2. Submitted by Glenn Mesaros on 11/10/2010 - 03:49 pm.

    RUSSIA: A report setting out the functional requirements for a Moscow – St Petersburg high speed line is to be completed by the start of 2011, Denis Muratov, Director-General of RZD’s high speed rail subsidiary Skorostnye Magistrali, told the High Speed World 2010 conference in Madrid on November 9.

    The VSZhM-1 high speed line is being designed for running at up to 400 km/h to cut the 660 km journey to 2½ h. It could serve airports in Moscow and St Petersburg to boost the development of multi-modal transport throughout northwest Russia.

    The entire advanced world is developing high speed rail, except the U.S. where Republicans prefer to sit in traffic jams and listen to talk radio all day long.

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