What a surprise to see another article on the high-speed-rail debacle ("Walker's High-Speed Fail," 6/28/2013). Are topics that scarce to have to resurrect that subject? Has ex-Mayor Dave followed up on the states that accepted the rail money as to which ones have the proposed high-speed trains actually running? California may have received Wisconsin's rejected funds with the promise of $15 billion in federal funding, only now to realize that fewer dollars have been received, with little more to come. They are now considering running high-speed trains on existing Amtrak lines, defeating the high-speed-rail concept, as funds are nonexistent for building new tracks.
Add Ohio and Florida to the states that declined the funds. Those Talgo trains ordered by Gov. Doyle were acquired by a no-bid contract, contrary to conducting state purchases. Why not sell them to those states who've been so eager to embrace the concept?
Dave Cieslewicz writes, "Thanks to Walker's rejection of high-speed rail, they are now being built in Illinois." He was referring to the Talgo rail cars that Gov. Walker put a stop to. Just where are these rail cars being built? The website TalgoAmerica.com does indicate that the only rail cars built were for Oregon and the Milwaukee to Chicago line, and there is no indication there is any manufacturing going on now. There is also no information that any new high-speed rail lines or cars have been completed. Just because Mr. Cieslewicz wanted it to happen does not mean it has happened.
Peter J. Cleven, Fitchburg
Dave Cieslewicz replies: Trains magazine reports that 129 new rail cars are being built in Illinois. These are cars that the Milwaukee Talgo plant could have competed for had Talgo not moved to shut down here after Walker's decision to kill the Wisconsin rail project.
Smaller is better
I am glad Rhythm & Booms will be scaled back this year ("Could Rhythm & Booms Go Bust?," 6/28/2013). Let's create a Warner Park July 4th celebration that is neighborhood, park and city-focused. Dane Dances is a fantastic example of what is possible. It'd be fun to have local musicians, drum circles, a dance floor and DJ for kids and adults, local food carts, space for various neighborhood and volunteer groups, etc. I'd enjoy a very scaled back fireworks display at dusk. It could be done as environmentally responsibly as possible.