Talgo Picks Milwaukee for its Railcar Assembly Plant

Spanish train manufacturer Talgo will locate its U.S. high-speed passenger rail manufacturing and assembly facility in Milwaukee, Wis., in a move that is expected to create 125 direct jobs in that state and new orders for suppliers throughout the Midwest. 

"I'm proud Talgo will locate its U.S. railcar assembly facility at the former Tower Automotive site in Milwaukee," Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle said in a March 2 announcement. "Through the Recovery Act and this facility, Wisconsin will see real economic benefits of high-speed rail for generations to come."

Antonio Perez, CEO and president of Talgo Inc., the company's U.S. subsidiary,  said the company picked the Milwaukee location over several other Wisconsin cities after examining economic conditions, operating conditions, logistics, cost of living, training facilities in the vicinity and availability of a skilled workforce. "We believe that the Tower site will allow us not only to deliver the train sets on time and with our high standards of quality, but it will also allow for future growth," he said.

Last July, Governor Doyle announced the state's agreement with Talgo to purchase two train sets for $47 million for the  Amtrak Hiawatha Service between Milwaukee and Chicago, and an agreement to establish the company's assembly and maintenance facility in the state. In January, he announced that Wisconsin would receive $823 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to build high-speed rail service to connect its centers of commerce.  Wisconsin is receiving $810 million to build high-speed passenger rail service between Milwaukee and Madison, $12 million to improve service between Chicago and Milwaukee, and $1 million to make final determinations on a route between Wisconsin and the Twin Cities.

Wisconsin is buying up to four train sets and Oregon is buying two trains sets from the company. Those trains will be built at the Milwaukee plant. Talgo said it would begin manufacturing Wisconsin's two trains by November and finish by next July.

Talgo trains have provided passenger service in the Pacific Northwest since 1994. It operates a maintenance facility in Seattle that serves Amtrak's Cascades trains.