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FOLLOW-UP: Wisconsin lawmakers approve Talgo deal

Here is today’s (good) news. Complete AP report here.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin lawmakers on Tuesday approved a $47 million no-bid contract to buy two passenger trains from a Spanish company under a plan to jump-start high-speed rail service in the state.


Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Politics, Regional USA Passenger Rail

10 Responses

  1. Jerry H. Sullivan, P.E. (retired) says:

    Must be nice to live in a progressive state like Wisconsin. I guess
    Politicians brains are fried by the heat in Florida. Must be something good to be said for being half frozen in the winter.

  2. MadPark says:

    One wonders whether three 9 car sets would not give more flexibility, especially if they are thinking of extending service to Madison. That way they could have more departures during peak periods, affording greater convenience for passengers, with a bit of down time mid-day for one set each day for necessary maintenance.

  3. George Pins says:

    Just curious – Why are the present cars “dark?” Are the bulbs burned out? Over 40 years old? Really? What coaches are we talking about? Or is this AP piece written by one of those folks who still describe trains as “chugging” into a station? Just curious.

  4. Nathanael says:

    I believe the Hiawathas are running Horizon cars. They have not aged well and seem to be considered the worst in Amtrak’s fleet.

  5. Dave Reid says:

    @Jerry Oh We’re not as progressive here in Wisconsin as you’d think. In Milwaukee we had $91.5 million in federal funds sitting around since 1992 for the purpose of mass transit (rail) improvements but haven’t been able to get something in the ground. Soon though a streetcar is on the way!

  6. George Pins says:

    If the Hiawatha’s are running Horizon cars as you say, it just goes to show how carefully you have to read news pieces by non-railroad-conversant reporters (99% of them). The Horizons, however horrible they may be, are about 20 years old, not 40+, and have bright flourescent lighting reminiscent of what Lucius Beebe called a “neon-lit leprosarium.”

  7. Tim Lynch says:

    George, is it like being in a White Castle, late a night and slightly inebriated? Fine Dining in our Porcelain Room!

  8. George Pins says:

    Same idea, although, without looking it up, I think Beebe was referring to airports, not hamburger joints.

  9. Tim Lynch says:

    When I think of airports I think of “Kenny G” music in the background nauseous at the best of times. It makes you want to beat down your neighbors door just to get at his insulin.

  10. The Hiawatha formations are most commonly a diesel, two Amfleet coaches, three Horizon coaches, and a cabbage car at the Chicago end.

    The coaches all have those protest-era narrow windows. The upholstery runs to darker colors (those might have been upscale in the mid-1980s, or a reaction to the disco-era purple and orange) and the reading lights over each seat generally work. It’s not wrong, however, to characterize the coaches as “dark.”

    Performance of the trains, on the other hand, is generally good. A few weekends ago I boarded the 7.45 pm departure at Mitchell Field (has anybody else noticed that the station looks a lot like an Arthur Gerber, but at right angles to the track?) and reached Union Station at 8.55 pm. As far as I know, the cabbage car didn’t sprout seven foot driving wheels near Franksville …

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