By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jul 20, 2010 at 8:04 AM

The proposed Milwaukee-to-Madison high speed rail line will be the focus of an informal public meeting on Thursday, July 22.

The meeting, hosted by the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, begins at noon at the Milwaukee Public Market.

In January, the federal government awarded $823 million to Wisconsin to develop the Milwaukee-to-Madison high speed rail system, with $810 million earmarked for upgrading existing rail lines and constructing stations.

The state Department of Transportation is moving forward with contracts for upgrading the existing rail lines between Milwaukee and Madison to accommodate high speed passenger trains, according to Milwaukee Ald. Bob Bauman.

"The high speed rail infrastructure is becoming a reality, and with that will come economic development that could create thousands of good-paying jobs in Milwaukee and communities stretching from Waukesha to Madison," said Bauman.