Three days ago, I wrote:

For many years, no trains.  Then progress and trains.  I was happy.  Then they wanted to stop the trains.  I was annoyed.  Then no trains.    I was in disbelief.

Now trains AND no trains.  Now, I’m just confused.  The Governor-elect of Wisconsin is against high speed train service, but wants the train maker to keep making trains in Wisconsin for said train service.  You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Now this:  Canceling rail line will cost $100 million, cut 400 jobs.

This is all getting very silly.  The state will receive $810 in federal money to create high-speed rail, and the state only has to pay the $7.5 million a year operating costs.  And “federal aid could cover as much as 90% of that amount, as it does with Amtrak’s existing Milwaukee-to-Chicago Hiawatha line.”  Given the job creation, the cost to stop the rail line compared to the operating costs, and the need for alternatives to motor vehicles, this project should proceed.  That said, most of the $100 million is already sunk, and I’m unclear as to what the state has already paid for or might have to reimburse the federal government for.

UPDATE: Despite GOP hopes to keep the $ in WI if not used for rail, there is “little hope for using train money for roads.”

UPDATE 2: In this Greenwire article (subscription required), the Obama Administration makes clear the money will go to other states if not used for high speed rail, and NY has already requested the money.

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