Trainmaker Talgo seeks nearly $66 million for canceled deal with Wisconsin

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Associated Press
Friday, November 8, 2013

MADISON — Trainmaker Talgo Inc. filed a nearly $66 million claim against Wisconsin on Thursday, saying the money is owed after Gov. Scott Walker acted in bad faith in deciding to abandon a high-speed rail line connecting Milwaukee and Madison.

The Seattle-based arm of the Spanish train company made the filing with the Wisconsin Claims Board. A spokeswoman for the state Department of Justice had no comment.

If the Claims Board were to agree with Talgo, the Republican-controlled Legislature and Walker would also have to sign off, something unlikely to happen. If the claim is rejected, Talgo could take its case to court.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said the state did nothing wrong in backing out of the deal.

"My understanding is we followed all the rules that were required," Vos said. "There were no bad faith negotiations."

The state signed a deal in 2009 under then-Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, to purchase at least two train sets from Talgo, which were initially to be used on Amtrak's existing line between Milwaukee and Chicago before being used on the new line that had yet to be built.

The state also entered into a separate 20-year maintenance agreement to service the trains, a deal to provide a maintenance facility, along with an option to purchase two additional train sets.

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