Embattled Talgos Moved to Indiana

Two idle Talgo trainsets that may wind up in service in Michigan have been moved from Milwaukee to the Amtrak shops in Beech Grove, Ind.

The high-speed Talgo trainsets were built for service in Wisconsin but never turned a wheel in revenue service there.

Built in Milwaukee by a Spanish company, the trainsets had been sitting dormant at the Milwaukee facility. They left Wisconsin at 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28 en route to Indiana.

The equipment was ordered in 2009 by former Governor Jim Doyle as part of a plan for high-speed rail service on routes linking Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison.

Talgo received $52 million in payments before current Gov. Scott Walker killed the project in early 2011.

A Talgo spokesperson said the company moved the train sets to the Beech Gove shops in Indianapolis in order to save storage costs.

The Talgo trainsets each have 14 cars and were moved along with three spare cars behind two Amtrak locomotives. Talgo also built in Milwaukee two trainsets for the State of Oregon that has since entered service.

Talgo is suing the state for failing to honor its purchase agreement and says Walker intentionally obstructed the project.

The Wisconsin Department of transportation has counter claimed that Talgo did not satisfy the contract’s requirements, did not complete manufacturing and testing, and never delivered the equipment.

If the builder prevails in court, the state will have to pay for the equipment and it will still belong to Talgo.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is seeking to acquire passenger equipment to use on the Wolverine Service route between Chicago and Detroit and is widely thought to be considering using the idled Talgo equipment.

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