Nearly two years ago, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle made a quiet trip to Spain to look into high speed rail. During that jaunt — announced the day he departed — Doyle visited train maker Talgo Inc.
Talgo had been seeking business in Wisconsin, and Doyle’s visit was another step in the courting dance between the Spanish firm and state and local officials, a relationship that turned into a sour one in December 2010.
Not long after Doyle’s visit, Talgo won a $43.1 million no-bid contract to build two trains for Amtrak service between Milwaukee and Chicago. Local officials had hoped Talgo would share work with local firm Super Steel, but Talgo rejected that idea. Milwaukee later offered Talgo incentives to open its own factory at a portion of the old Tower Automotive site on the city’s north side.