People could tour through two of the train cars, take a peek in the factory, enjoy refreshments and learn more about Talgo and rail history of the area, and could learn how to contact the state government to voice their opinions on the operation of these cars in Wisconsin.
Talgo Vice President Public Affairs & Business Development Nora Friend said, “We want the government of Wisconsin to honor their contractual agreement and put these trains in revenue service.”
Judith Fischer works in the front office at Talgo and her boyfriend also works at Talgo as a fluids manager. “These guys have worked really hard and we want these trains to go into service. It would be a shame to park them and we don’t want to lose jobs.” She added, “That’s what it’s all about: jobs, jobs, jobs.”
Talgo is located in a neighborhood that is looking to be redeveloped, called the Century City Project. It includes 86 acres, 58 for a business park, 17 for retail or commercial uses and the remainder for single and multi-family residences. The long-term estimates for job creation are between 700 and 1,000 jobs.
Perez said Talgo employs about 140 people currently in the United States. In Spain they employ about 1,300 and have 50 percent of the market share of very high-speed trains there.
Midwest High Speed Rail Association Executive Director Richard Harnish was also at the event with his two young kids. “I want my boys to see high-speed trains here in the United States,” he stressed.
While there’s talk Talgo could be leaving Milwaukee as soon as June, there is no final word yet and Friend stressed, “We’re not giving up.”