Train Maker Sues Wisconsin for $66 Million for Canceling Rail Project

Train maker Talgo is suing the state of Wisconsin for $65.9 million as a result of Governor Scott Walker’s decision to cancel passenger rail plans connecting Madison to Milwaukee.

Train maker Talgo is suing Wisconsin for $66 million over terminated contracts. Image: ##http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2011/02/wisconsin-governor-scott-walker-state-of-the-state.html##L.A. Times##

Talgo claims that Wisconsin’s termination of contracts to build trains for the corridor resulted in $20 million in losses for the company, which has a manufacturing plant in Milwaukee. If the contract had been executed as planned, the company expected to earn $30 million in profits instead, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

In all, Talgo is seeking $65.9 million to cover $18.6 million in liquidated debt, as well as costs for labor, insurance, legal fees, testing that it says should have been paid by the state. The total includes other damages, including the cost to the firm’s reputation from state officials “continually defaming” it.

Walker was part of a group of Republican governors who refused federal grants for passenger rail projects following the 2010 elections. Walker said the state couldn’t afford to operate the trains, which would have cost the state as little as $7.5 million a year. Meanwhile, the state of Wisconsin is currently spending $1.7 billion on a single interchange.

The Tampa Tribune recently reported that, according to a Florida lawmaker, Governor Rick Scott’s refusal of federal rail funds was part of a coordinated strategy by Republican governors to batter President Obama.

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