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Work on Milwaukee to Madison Rail Line Halted


MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - Work has been halted on the controversial high-speed train from Milwaukee to Madison.

DOT Secretary Frank Busalacchi said Thursday that his agency told 8 contractors to stop the project for a few days, in light of Tuesday’s election results. He said the DOT wants to determine all the consequences if Governor-elect Scott Walker gets his way, and the train is stopped permanently.

Walker said he did not get confirmation of what the DOT did, but he said he’s pursuing legal options that would slow down the train if not stop it before he takes office on January 3rd.

Meanwhile, a construction manager for the project – DAAR Engineering – said it's laying off 2 people immediately because of the state’s order. And Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says the city will consider filing a lawsuit if the Spanish firm of Talgo does not get the work it was promised.

Talgo was brought in to build trains for the Milwaukee to Madison line – and in the meantime, it’s building two trains for Amtrak’s Milwaukee to Chicago line and 2 trains for the state of Oregon.

Talgo vice-president Nora Friend says no layoffs are planned now – but halting the Madison line would cast doubts on the company’s future in Milwaukee. For now, the firm says an official request to build those trains is on hold.