Spanish train manufacturer Talgo plans to establish a new train assembly and maintenance facilities in the state, and has already scouted locations in Janesville and Milwaukee.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett wants Talgo to establish operations in Milwaukee.
"We have prime sites near major transportation and in walking distance of a ready-to-go workforce," Barrett said. "We say to Talgo, ‘Ven aqui a Milwaukee!’ Our Port of Milwaukee and our Department of City Development and our citizens are ready to work with Talgo."
Gov. Jim Doyle said he hopes Talgo chooses Janesville, but that the location of its maintenance and assembly facilities will be up to the company.
Last week Doyle announced the state will purchase two, 14-car train sets for $47 million from the company. The trains will be put into service on the Amtrak Hiawatha Service, between Milwaukee and Chicago, with the cars pulled by existing locomotives. Each train set provides a seating capacity of 420, compared with the current capacity of 350.
In the future the train cars could be used for the proposed high speed rail service between Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison.
Together, Talgo’s assembly and maintenance facilities are expected to create about 80 jobs for Wisconsin workers, with the potential for more jobs as operations grow.
Aluminum alloy structural frame parts for the Talgo trains will be manufactured in Spain and then shipped to Wisconsin for assembly. Talgo will be working with Wisconsin and other U.S. vendors to supply parts for outfitting the trains.
Talgo’s Wisconsin rail car assembly plant will support the delivery of trains throughout the country. The company’s rail car maintenance facility in the state will provide ongoing service for equipment used in the Midwest. Talgo currently operates a maintenance facility in Seattle, Wash., to service Amtrak Cascades trains.