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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Western Wisconsin coalition lobbies for high-speed rail

From an article on BizTimes.com:

The West Central Wisconsin Rail Coalition is hoping that opponents of high-speed rail in the state will reconsider their position after its analysis of their arguments show them to be based upon incorrect data and misplaced assumptions.

“It’s time for everyone to hit the ‘reset’ button, look at the facts, and resume the historic bi-partisan support of passenger rail development in Wisconsin,” said Scott Rogers, an Eau Claire businessman who co-chairs the coalition along with long-time transportation professional Owen Ayres.

The group, which advocates a Chicago-Twin Cities route via Eau Claire and Hudson, also recently issued a joint statement with the La Crosse-based Empire Builder Coalition urging continuation of the state’s development of high-speed rail, which was begun under the administration of former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson. The two groups jointly sent letters to public officials and candidates for state and federal office with the same message.

“If everything the opponents were saying about high-speed rail were true, even we would have a hard time supporting it,” Rogers said. “But the reality is, this is a good deal for the state of Wisconsin and a project important to our future economy.”

The group is urging officials and political candidates who have opposed rail to “look fully and fairly at the costs, value, return on investment and priority of building a high-speed rail system for Wisconsin.”

The coalition has posted a blog that rebukes Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker’s points of opposition against high-speed rail.

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