Train-maker 'Talgo' leaving Milwaukee

CREATED Apr 30, 2014

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MILWAUKEE - Talgo built two trains for Milwaukee, but those trains were never used and now the Spanish company is leaving the city.

"You had a business where people could actually work and make a living," said resident Arrilla Eversley. 
 
Eversley has lived in the north side neighborhood for more than 40 years, and knows people who worked at Talgo.  She says it's a sad loss for the area, a sentiment Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett echoed.
 
"It's a tragedy to everyone who wants to have stronger ties between Chicago and Milwaukee.  It's a tragedy to people working  here," Barrett said. 
 
Barrett admitted after the state joint finance committee voted not to fund the maintenance facility, he knew it was only a matter of time before Talgo took its trains elsewhere.
 
"We've said this is going to happen.  We said over and over again, you're going to cause us to lose jobs in Milwaukee," Barrett said. 
 
The trains are also at the center of a lawsuit Talgo has filed against the state.  The state claims board heard the case Wednesday morning.  The company is asking the state for nearly $66 million because they claim the state breached its contract with the company.
 
The Governor's office referred us to the Department of Transportation, and they would not comment because of the pending litigation.
 
Neighbors hope the city can find a replacement for Talgo soon.
 
"What kind of companies are coming in, what kind of jobs are going to come?" said Bert Eversley.