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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Newspaper report: Talgo files $65.9 million claim against Wisconsin

Spanish train-maker Talgo Inc. filed a $65.9 million claim against the state of Wisconsin over train sets the manufacturer built for the state but that the state never took possession of, according to a report posted yesterday on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website.

In a filing with the state's Claims Board, the company also maintained that Wisconsin owes bond holders an additional $70 million that the state borrowed for the train sets, which were built for use on the existing Milwaukee-to-Chicago Hiawatha passenger-rail line, as well as for a proposed high-speed rail line between Milwaukee and Madison that eventually could have extended to Minneapolis, the newspaper reported.

Talgo's request for more dollars is in addition to $40 million the state has paid the company, the article stated.

The Talgo-Wisconsin dispute stems from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's rejection of $810 million in federal stimulus dollars for the high-speed rail line. He rejected the funds after previous Gov. Jim Doyle's administration signed a contract with Talgo to build the train sets. After the trains were built, the state declined to take possession of them.

In total, Talgo is seeking $65.9 million from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, including $18.6 million in unpaid invoices and interest, $23.5 million in lost business, $10.5 million in damage by officials "continually defaming" Talgo's reputation and $9.8 million in lost maintenance work, according to the article.


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