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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Talgo sues state of Wisconsin over high-speed train deal


The problems between Talgo Inc. and the state of Wisconsin reached a fever pitch early this month, when the train manufacturer filed notice with the state to terminate its contract and sued the state for defaulting on the agreement, according to an article published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In 2009, under the direction of former Gov. Jim Doyle, the state signed an agreement to purchase two new train sets from Talgo to operate on Amtrak's Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha Line. So far, the state has paid Talgo $42.2 million for the trains and spent millions more on a temporary maintenance base and planning for a permanent facility, as well as spare parts and consulting fees.

However, Gov. Scott Walker and his administration since have clashed with the firm, according to the Journal Sentinel article. In March, the state Legislature's Joint Finance Committee rejected borrowing $2.5 million for additional planning to replace a maintenance base for the trains, meaning the state would not be able to put the trains into service. In April, Talgo charged the state $4.6 million for ongoing work on the trains. However, the state didn't pay them, as the two parties argued over who would pay for testing. And in July, Talgo sent the state a letter saying it was in default of its contract and demanded the state make a payment within 30 days.

In the lawsuit, Talgo is seeking to keep the trains, as well as the money the state has paid the firm thus far, according to the article.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/12/2012