Due to this blog’s recent focus on saving Wisconsin high-speed rail project, I’ve added this page to keep track of all the links and resources I’ve already posted and all the links yet to come.

Some background on the project: In 2009, the State of Wisconsin applied for and received an $810 million pot of recovery act funds designated by congress to be used to build high-speed passenger rail in the Midwest. The new rail network would extend the popular Hiawatha Amtrak line, which currently travels from Chicago to Milwaukee, so that it continues on to Madison, and eventually to the Twin Cities. Madison, Wisconsin’s Capitol and home to its largest university, has a fast-growing metro area of half a million people and has no passenger rail service. The high-speed rail program will better connect large cities in the Midwest, improving commerce and tourism. Further, the money also allows Wisconsin to make needed improvements to its sagging freight rail infrastructure, improving the state’s economic development. The passenger rail project involved over twenty years of planning and support from both political parties.

Unfortunately, to the detriment of Wisconsin’s citizens, this forward-looking infrastructure project became an election-year issue. Despite the fact that contracts were signed, people were hired and work was beginning on the project, Wisconsin’s new governor-elect has said he will end the project. This will have catastrophic consequences for the entire state: Wisconsin will immediately lose hundreds of jobs (and will never have the thousands of jobs that were to be created with the project). Further, the state must immediately pay back $100 million federal dollars. To put this in perspective, the annual costs of maintaining the train would only be, at most, $7.5 million. Finally, by cancelling the project, Wisconsin will completely remove itself from the Midwest’s high-speed rail network. The train will literally pass us by.

I have had the opportunity to travel all over the world, but nothing gives me greater pride than being from Wisconsin. I believe that our Governor-elect would make a terrible mistake by cancelling this project. Developing Wisconsin’s infrastructure should never be a partisan issue. I believe we can come together to find common-sense ways to keep the project going. This is a time to work together as a state and not let regional differences or partisan bickering divide us.

The Links

Advocacy

Call Scott Walker’s Transition Office: 608-261-9200

November 20th – Save the Train Action Day (Details and locations announced today!)

Pledge to ride the train (WISPIRG)

WPR – “Conversations with Joy Cardine” (Call WPR tomorrow morning between 7-8 AM to voice your support of high-speed rail: 1-800-642-1234)

AFL-CIO – Petition to save rail and jobs

Prorail

Wisconsin Association of Rail Passengers

AFL-CIO Rally (Monday, November 15th, Noon, Talgo site in Milwaukee)

Eau Claire Leader Telegram – Question of the Week (Let them know why you want high-speed rail in Wisconsin)

UW-Eau Claire Petition Rally (Wednesday, November 17th, 8:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m., Campus Mall)

WISPIRG Letter Campaign

Badger Football Game Flier Distribution (Saturday, November 13th, Meet at Topper’s near Camp Randall at 9:30 a.m. — More details an the linked Facebook group)

1,000 Friends of Wisconsin Petition Campaign

Wisconsin Environment Petition

Bring High-Speed Rail to Eau Claire Facebook Group

Ray LaHood Facebook Page (Let the US Transportation Secretary know Wisconsin is still committed to high-speed rail)

Keep High-Speed Rail in Wisconsin Facebook Page

Sierra Club Wisconsin – November 20th – Save the Train Events (Sierra Club Wisconsin is declaring November 20th a day of action on the train — learn how to plan or attend an event in your area)

Survey – Should Walker his plan to stop the train project

Sierra Club Wisconsin – Intercity Rail Letter Campaign

Poll: Should Wisconsin go ahead with plan for high-speed rail

Save the Train Wisconsin Facebook Page (This is different from the page I posted yesterday and has many more supporters)

Gov-elect Walker – Citizen Suggestions (Governor-elect Walker seeks our suggestions–maybe he’ll listen to our suggestions to save jobs and keep the train!)

Care 2 – Wisconsin High Speed Rail Petition (To Gov-elect Walker)

National Association of Railroad Passengers Petition

Save the Train – What you can do (Document prepared by ProRail with additional ideas and resources for advocacy)

Stand Up For Trains (Midwest High Speed Rail Association–has links to their Facebook page and encourage word of mouth advocacy)

Forward Lookout (Progressive Blog, lays out strong arguments to refute common anti-rail misconceptions)

Save the Train – Wisconsin Facebook Group

Community Support

Scott McDonnell – Concerned about roads and bridges? Invest in rail.

AFL-CIO – Labor and community groups rally to save Wisconsin jobs

Citizens Action – Hundreds in Milwaukee rally to save high-speed train

Representative Grigsby – Pushes to save Wisconsin high speed rail jobs

Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce – Letter in support of Wisconsin’s application for high-speed rail funds

WISPIRG – Why Wisconsin needs passenger rail

Watertown Chamber of Commerce

League of Women Voters

Citizen Action of Wisconsin

Sierra  Club of Wisconsin

Downtown Madison Inc

Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz (Also here and here)

Editorials

Hands on Wisconsin: Walker’s Train Tantrum

In praise of flip-flopping

Are we pennywise but pound foolish?

Oshkosh Northwestern – Pay no attention to that woman tied to the tracks

Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter – High-speed rail line should proceed

John Nichols: Walker creates jobs, but not in Wisconsin

Bloomington Pentagraph – Walker should pick fight with Illinois

The fast train represents opportunity

Editorial: The arguments against rail just don’t measure up

Cancellation of high-speed rail will kill jobs

Our view: Minnesota aims to be ready for rail (Winona Paper, Discusses Wisconsin)

Chris Rickert: Putting your money where the train is

The Roadmap to a High-Speed Recovery

Plain Talk: Road builders get return on their Walker investment

Capital Times – Even Republicans are tell Walker he’s wrong about rail money

Tomah Journal – Editorial: Wisconsin open for business … except for mass transit

Randy’s Ramblings: Who’ll stop the train?

Walker’s plan for high-speed rail a huge fail

Jim Stingl – Walker holding firm on the wrong side of the tracks

Dan Bell – Governor-elect should do the math on rail line

La Crosse Tribune – Our View: Walker must trust rail project

William S. Lind – Conservatives should like rail

High-speed rail: A gravy train?

Wisconsin State Journal – Get Past Rail Rhetoric to Reality

Hands on Wisconsin: Walker’s great train robbery

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – There are Jobs at Stake

Capital Times – High-speed rail essential to Wisconsin’s economic renewal

The Sheboygan Press – Let’s look at big picture on rail line

La Crosse Tribune – Let’s hope Walker changes mind on rail

Watertown Daily Times – The high-speed train issue

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Questionable Dealing

Blogs

Lubar backs Walker, high speed rail

Emily’s Post: Walker waffles on the train, RoJo observations, and the GOP ‘mandate’

Did Chicago-style Politics Kill Wisconsin’s High Speed Rail?

Canceling high-speed rail would derail jobs

Getting Back on Track

Scott Walker and high speed rail: This is why Wisconsin can’t have nice things. Or jobs.

Let’s boycott Wisconsin

Backwards we go!

Rail Cheaper and Faster Than Air

Fast rail operating costs would be 1% or less of highway operating subsidies

Riding the Rails, Looking for Work

Jeremy Bloom – Off the Rails II: GOP misreading Ayn Rand in blocking railroads

Mike Shafer – Opponents spew myths about high-speed rail

Matt Logan – Scott Walker stuck in the 70s

Myths about Madison-Milwaukee rail service – station and train ridership

Emily’s Post: Wisconsin high-speed rail supporters fight back

Rejecting high-speed rail will isolate Wisconsin

This time out could be useful for high-speed rail

Anti-spending climate shouldn’t mean cloudy skies for transit

In the public interest: Fast trains don’t belong to either party

Emily’s Post: Wisconsin Republicans focusing on everything but jobs

Governor-elect Scott Walker is being unrealistic about trains

Letters to the Editor

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

La Crosse Tribune – Funding train is money well spent

Sheboygan Press – Rethink position on train

Stevens Point Journal – Plan to cancel high-speed rail project wrong

‘Tainted’ funds must be rejected by Walker

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

In economic terms, Wisconsin loses

Don’t waste once in a lifetime opportunity

Dems–Don’t let GOP abandon rail

High-speed rail is an economic engine

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Build the Train

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – It’s time to catch up; Muddled editorial thinking; Saying no is madness

Satire

Obama Replaces Costly High-Speed Rail Plan With High-Speed Bus Plan