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An investigation by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and University of Wisconsin-Madison journalism students found some gaps in one of the state’s biggest proposed stimulus projects: A proposed half-billion-dollar high-speed passenger rail line between Madison and Milwaukee.

State officials predict that the trains will be popular. But in some cases, the trains wouldn’t match current commuting and travel routes. Even though it’s billed as a high-speed service, officials say the trains will run at an average of just 70 miles an hour, at least for the first few years. And even if Wisconsin wins federal funding for the project, state taxpayers will pay millions each year to operate the new 85-mile passenger rail line.

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The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism ( collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

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