Rail Groups Pushing for Hoosier State Pact

A West Virginia rail passenger advocacy group issued a call to Indiana officials to continue funding the Chicago-Indianapolis Hoosier State beyond Jan. 31.

Friends of the Cardinal has a vested interest in the continuation of Indiana’s state service because the Chicago-New York train that operates through West Virginia shares a route with the Hoosier State in Indiana and Illinois.

The Cardinal operates three days per week with the Hoosier State running on days that the Cardinal  does not run.  The Hoosier State faces a Jan. 31 deadline for the Indiana Department of Transportation to secure a new operator for the train, which is currently operated by Amtrak.

INDOT has been investigating private sector operators to take over the service. Last summer it had announced an agreement with Chicago-based Corridor Capital to operate the Hoosier State, but that agreement fell through.

The Cardinal advocacy group noted that INDOT continues to seek cost information from Amtrak and that Iowa Pacific has also talked with the state transportation agency about operating some facets of the service.

“Should contract negotiations with Amtrak not conclude before Jan. 31, then INDOT would discuss a short extension of the existing service,” the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance wrote in its most recently monthly newsletter, All Aboard Indiana.

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