Walker and the NoTrain.com gimmick

Yes, gimmick.

Voters, ask yourselves, did he bother to stop the train when a station was being put up at the Milwaukee County airport facility?


This is the game most Republicans play. Brookfield, you’re about to watch Mayor Steve Ponto start the same course. You see, they are so very, very against public funding for something like a train, but so very, very for economic development. Walker will let the train go through and blame the federal government (hence the Obama target) and Ponto will blame the state.

And yep, voters are stupid enough to watch it play out over and over again and pretend this time will be different.


  1. Cindy, the Milwaukee to Chicago line makes sense and has upwards of 750,000 riders per year. A stop at the airport makes sense.

    You really are losing your grip on reality.

  2. Fred, the issue is the Milwaukee County Airport stop. What’s the traffic for that one stop? I do want to try to look it up today. (The line existed prior to the station.)

    It tickles me to no end that every time I make a valid point you claim I’m losing my grip on reality. Golly.

  3. Data From an Amtrak from 2009 Fact Sheet: 147,000+ arrivals and departures in 2009 at the airport stop:

  4. Sorry for the garbled comment. Let me copy the 09 airport service data from an 09 Amtrak release:

    Amtrak Service & Ridership

    During FY09 Amtrak served the following Wisconsin locations:

    Milwaukee Airport

    Boardings + Alightings


  5. NotAtAllTheSame says:

    Use your brain Cindy… or try anyway.

    The Amtrak to Chicago is not at issue here at all. You are definately on the wrong track.

  6. I guess if we are going to subsidize transportation, it make sense for the Chicago to Milwaukee run stop at the airport. I for one would prefer to have the riders pay for what they are getting, not with my help. No one pays for part of my gas and parking at the airport.

  7. NotAt, etc. Funny, I have your IP as ummno. Identity crisis perhaps?

    The Amtrak to Chicago is not the issue, an Amtrak train between Milwaukee and Chicago (aka Hiawatha service) has been around for a long time. The station at Milwaukee County Airport built under Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker is the subject I brought forward.

    The Empire Builder already takes passengers between Milwaukee and Minneapolis. It’s all the dinky stops along the way that Walker is faking he doesn’t like. A train already exists. It’s exactly the same subject.

    Evidently that topic has a few of you rather upset or you wouldn’t keep insulting me. 😉

  8. Yea, the train to MSP exists too, but its ridership is poor, schedules are poor, and it is taxpayer subsidized. Fix those and then we can talk about making it high speed.

    Though I do agree with Walker criticism. He wants to privatize the airport because private companies can give campaign contributions and government entities can’t.

  9. WJM3, so, you don’t drive on roads built and maintained using taxpayer funds? Not! Expanding passenger rail service to Madison, as the first step of signficantly improving the service to Minneapolis, is part of a regional strategy to provide passenger transportation options.

  10. Problems with the choo choo train

    A its going to cost taxpayers in excess of 10 million a yr to maintain

    B its labeled as high speed yet we already know its going to 79 mph at its peak speed. yet we all know the TRUE high speed trains go in excess of 150 mph over seas. The only way any train could be considered high speed in WI is if its under ground or above ground level. Yet we have cars on the free way that will drive faster than Obamas choo choo train

    So without a doubt we are being scammed once again speak up and say hell no to the choo choo train cause its not high speed

  11. I have no problem with saying “hell no” to this boondoggle.

    I do have a problem with a career politician that pretends he doesn’t like it, but gosh darn it, won’t be able to stop it once he’s elected. It will so totally be someone else’s fault. Just look at the man’s track record!

  12. @Thomas the peak speed of the train will be 110 MPH, not 79 I do hope nobody is going 110 on the freeway.

  13. Dave – why don’t your source a couple of things for this discussion. I’ve read the goal is 110, but current track conditions will keep it at the slower speed for a number of years. I’ve also read where the frequent stops will mess with overall time considerably. Maybe you can put your fingers on the details.

  14. The $800 million is for the most part for track upgrades, and yes initially it will top out at 79 MPH then within a couple of years 110 mph. Finally, there just aren’t that many stops along the route (who knows maybe no Brookfield stop haha).

    How’s this for a source http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/fact-sheet-high-speed-intercity-passenger-rail-program-minneapolisst-paul-madison-m

  15. Thanks.

  16. @ Dave Your right 110 mph AFTER track upgrades so back to my org point 79 mph for a so called choo choo train I don’t think so.

    Interesting thought here as well according to one of the Biggest supporters of the govt. waste the Wisconsin Sierra Club the choo choo train is SUPPOSE to save a driver a whole 12 min. of driving time I guess they make up that 12 min. waiting for a cab to get around Madison as they don’t have a car.

    Once again Ill pass on the choo choo train.

  17. @Thomas what do you suppose the $800 million is for… those track upgrades (as well as a few other items). It will simply open prior to all of the upgrades being completed.

    PS This isn’t a steam engine:)

  18. @ David as you stated ” and yes initially it will top out at 79 MPH then within a couple of years 110 mph ”

    so lets use the sceniro lets say the choo choo train idea flops and no one uses it and they never reach the predicted passanger totals does that mean the track upgrades never happen and it stays at 79 mph or does it mean we the tax payers have to fork up higher takes not only to maintain the choo choo train and now even higher taxes for track upgrades so it can reach 110 mph.

    in contrast as i have rode the trains in Japan and other parts of Asia 110 mph is still slow.

    Next ? I hear no discussion of the fact if the choo choo train fails as the current blue print is in place for it to fail (( just my opinion here)) if we dont have the choo choo train for 20 years we have to repay the federal govt the whole 810 million according to WI DOT

    so with that in mind dont rush this garbage do ur research and di it right

  19. @Thomas Again that $800 million includes the funds to get it to 110 mph, it just opens early.

    And yes if we don’t run the train we have to return the funds, somebody might mention this to Scott Walker as apparently he intends to write an at least $150 million check to the feds.

    PS Again this is not a steam engine

  20. Bob Donnelly says:

    I’ve read most of the arguments here, and I’d like to throw my 2 cents in. NOBODY needs a high speed train between Milwaukee and Madison. NO ONE will ride it. After the initial $810 million federal dollars falls into the black hole that is this project, who’s going to pay the estimated $10 million dollars a year (I think that’s a LOW estimate BTW) it’s going to take to keep this thing running? Wisconsin tax payers? If anyone still has a job in this state by November I hope Walker (after he’s elected) kills this thing once and for all. If you want a choo choo train, move to Portland, OR or San Francisco. We just don’t need one here.

  21. So, nobody’s willing to rationally discuss this project in its context of providing a balanced transportation system? Has anyone bothered to read any of the documentation which justifies the project, or are you just repeating what you hear on sqawk radio? Here’s a link for those of you who are willing to read up on the topic.


    BTW, I am so glad none of you drive your personal vehicles on roadways built and maintained with taxpayer funds.

  22. TosaJoe – it appears you aren’t a regular. We’ve discussed this before, and I do think the conversation is fairly balanced.

    On the one hand, yes a train would provide another opportunity for travel. There are many – myself included – that would use it. Yes, I’ve said that before. I have a habit of using something if I’m forced to buy it.

    On the other hand, we really can’t afford at this time in America’s history to throw money at anything, even if that anything is labeled infrastructure. Locally, Brookfield’s elected are trying to argue it’s ok if it doesn’t cost Brookfield, but they are shortsighted in that approach because, of course, Brookfield residents will still pay for a Brookfield station, it’s just that some of the cost will be shifted to the rest of Wisconsin.

    How happy rural Wisconsin must be to subsidize the infrastructure and lifestyle choices of the more urban SE Wisconsin. We are a state. Sometimes we have to think with one brain.

    Now, to anticipate your next argument, austerity, the action of cutting spending, does not create job losses in this case, but indeed, it will not create jobs. It’s my fundamental belief, and here I’ll no doubt differ with liberals in thinking, that in short time that will balance out and the lower taxing lower spending will create will spur the economy to create jobs. I actually believe the anticipation of lower taxes will help immediately, as I firmly believe it’s the anticipation of higher taxes that’s shut the recovery down so abruptly.

    Was that rational enough for you?

  23. Bob Donnelly says:

    TosaJoe: BTW, I am so glad none of you drive your personal vehicles on roadways built and maintained with taxpayer funds.

    TJ: Actually YES I do. I’m guessing 99% of us in one way or another do, and that’s the point. Our roads and bridges are falling apart. I get my teeth rattled at least once a day on some awful road in Metro Milwaukee. Let’s take all or part of that $810 million dollars, and fix the things we all use every day—-our roads and bridges. There may be a time for the train, but it’s not now.

  24. Yes, Cindy, it is a gimmick. In his speech under the Hoan Bridge on the 16th, he let a bit of the truth slip out. He called the HSR project a “symbol of the tax-and-spend policies of Obama [et al.].” The train makes for a glorious symbol. It’s a target to a populace that thinks that highways operate without subsidies (they don’t) and so should other forms of transportation. But if you think about it, the $10 Million operating subsidy is chump change in the context of WI DOT’s multi-billion budget. That won’t even cover repairs to the Hoan Bridge, once known as a boondogle itself.

  25. Cindy & Bob, thank you for your rational posts on the topic.

  26. We don’t need a high speed train between Madison and Milwaukee. Very few in Wisconsin will ride it after they find out it costs $60 a head. The few jobs it will create will cost more than they are worth(I heard cost = 1mil per job) Doyle is ordering his contractors to feverishly finish the train behind closed doors. His administration wants to Hurry up and spend the $810 million out of our own federal taxpayer funds before Walker gets in. We will also be stuck paying the annual $10 million maintenance costs. This is the biggest scam Doyle pulled off yet to make himself look good to the masses that don’t understand we are subsidizing it with our hard earned dollars.

  27. The real ? is why is he starting construction in Oct of 2010 instead of Lets say April of 2011 Look at all the money being wasted in making sure they have the proper ventalation durning the winter for the concrete. If Doyle really cared which we know he doesn’t he would try to save us money instead we will be wasting money when we could be saving money either way i still hold my ground and say no to the CHOO CHOO TRAIN

  28. I agree NO CHOO CHOO! We don’t need it We don’t want it. It has taken enough of our $ and will create no jobs. it is a scam in my opinion.

  29. I have heard both arguements about this train from various people. When you look at the elections a few weeks ago there were communities that had referendums on spending money or setting up bonds for this. In ALL the communities, 80% voted against! I keep hearing from city “leaders” that this train has huge support. If this is true, put it on a ballot. In an article about a rally for support of the train this weekend, “Backers who say the train will bring jobs and economic development to the state aren’t backing down. They’ve already collected 7,000 signatures in support of the train and enlisted business and community leaders to speak up.” Ok, that’s a decent number, but what’s the number of people against it? I have yet to personally meet ONE single supporter. The money should be used for our crumbling roads, bridges, and cleaner buses. All of which would create twice as many jobs. The train can be stopped though. Ohio and Pittsburgh are fighting against as well. If other states want it and the people want it let them have it