USA: Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle has announced that his state will purchase two 14-car Talgo trainsets for $47·5m. They are to be assigned to Amtrak's Hiawatha line, which provides seven daily return trips between Chicago and Milwaukee.
Doyle visited Spain in February to inspect Patentes Talgo's production facilities and to ride similar trains. Antonio Perez, Chief Executive of Talgo's US subsidiary, said the company will ship bodyshells from Spain to Wisconsin, where final assembly and interior work will be undertaken at a plant to be established on site which is still to be selected. Delivery of the first two sets is expected in about two years.
As well as servicing the Wisconsin fleet the facility would also assemble trainsets for other Midwest states if future orders develop. State officials said they would order two more trains for a proposed Milwaukee - Madison route if Wisconsin is awarded a federal high speed rail grant to upgrade the right-of-way for 177 km/h operation, a project estimated to cost between $500m and $600m. The current top speed is 127 km/h (79 mile/h).