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Idaho politicians seek to derail MBTA train purchase

Go figure: Idaho produces more than potatoes. Turns out there's a company in Boise that makes diesel locomotives and now half the state's congressional delegation (one senator and one congressman) wants to block a deal in which the MBTA would buy commuter-rail locomotives from a European company, the Boise Guardian reports.

The T and Vossloh are seeking a waiver from a "Buy America" law to let the company build two prototype engines in Spain. The 50 actual diesels the T would buy would be built in Kentucky, but Sen. Mike Crapo, and Rep. Mike Simpson want to kill the whole deal - which would make MotivePower of Boise the only other bidder for the project. The Guardian is not amused:

... The politicos welcome a French nuke processing plant at Idaho Falls, but they would be outraged if powerful democrats in Boston tried to scuttle it for some reason. ...

Oh, look: Idaho bloggers organize to fight the T. Even the mayor of Boise is onboard, saying the Vossloh deal could jeopardize 200 "high-skill engineering and manufacturing jobs" in the Boise area.

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Well, you can't blame anyone for trying to keep themselves employed. Why does the T want to go with a European company? Money savings? Track record?

Some interesting comments on the railroad net
http://tinyurl.com/5jcf8z

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Maybe Sal is involved....

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I think we should buy American products whenever we can, as Warren Buffet says (I know its out of contect but still kinda works) in times like these you "need to be greedy." Why employ europeans and not Americans?

Boston (I know the MBTA and Boston are not the same) has these insane rules where you have to live in Boston itself to be employeed by the city (with some exceptions) so obviously people in this state are sensitive to the politics of location and where your tax dollars get spent. The MBTA seems to have a completely different view on things, as evidenced by their big kahoona driving a big SUV into work everyday instead of taking the T (why is it so hard to expect the chief of a sprawing mass transit agency live close enough to a train line to take the train into work?)

Ive always believed in buying, when possible, as locally as possible. That would be the order of community, city, state, region, country, neighbors (I actually dont have a problem with Canadian stuff as our borders are so close that money seems to flow in and out quite readily), other (Europe, India et al)

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Smilin' Dan actually does live very close to the commuter rail. He's just a douchebag and doesn't take it.

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