July 24, 2014

Talgo sues state over trains

Talgo has filed suit against the state. The suit from the Spanish train maker claims the state shorted Talgo for some $4.6 million, for train sets to have run on Amtrak’s Milwaukee to Chicago Hiawatha service. “Talgo made a very serious effort to try to resolve this dispute with the state, including a mediation that took place all day on Thursday,” said Lester Pines, a Madison attorney representing Talgo. “It was just not possible to get it settled.”

AUDIO: Lester Pines (:40)

The suit names Governor Scott Walker and state Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb. “Talgo is a business that manufactures and maintains trains. It is not an organization that has anything to do with politics whatsoever,” said Pines. “It has just found itself in this bizarre political environment, in which the state of Wisconsin has decided that it doesn’t like trains, and therefore it doesn’t want the trains.”

Department of Transportation spokesperson Deb Schmitt released a statement.

“The Department of Transportation participated in a formal mediation process with Talgo just last week in a good faith effort to resolve disputes related to the delivery of completed trainsets. We are disappointed that process was not successful.

Talgo has failed to complete or test the trainsets and they do not meet even basic federal standards, such as those required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The department will defend against this action and continue to act in the best interests of Wisconsin taxpayers.”