Impact on Minnesota plans unclear as feds give Wisconsin high-speed rail money to other states

Wisconsin’s incoming governor doesn’t like “high-speed rail,” so the feds said this week that they’ll let other states have most of the $810 million that had been allocated to a fast-train project connecting Milwaukee and Madison.

It’s unclear how this will affect plans for a proposed Chicago-to-Twin Cities high-speed train route, which in early planning phases likely would have gone through western Wisconsin. But If Wisconsin. Gov.-elect Scott Walker doesn’t like Milwaukee to Madison, he’s not likely to favor paying to connect the Twin Cities/Chicago route through his state.

Still, planning in Minnesota goes on, says the New Richmond News. So the link may have to go through Iowa.

In terms of federal funding, Ohio is losing some, too, about $400 million, because Gov.-elect John Kasich canceled proposed passenger train service linking Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland.

So about $1.2 billion from the two states is going to other states that are pushing ahead with rail routes — California, $624 million; Florida, $342 million; Washington, $161 million; and Illinois, $42 million, with lesser amounts going to New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, North Carolina, Iowa and Indiana.

It should be noted that “high-speed trains” in these plans calls for about 80 mph, while in Europe the standard is often 120 mph and in Japan they go over 160 mph, with some in China going over 220 mph.

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