Hoosier State Funding Plan Hammered Out

A funding plan for the Chicago-Indianapolis Hoosier State will provide state support, but also required local communities along the route to pony up some money.

The Indiana General Assembly is considered a plan to provide a $6 million operating grant for the quad-weekly train for two years with money from a tax amnesty program that is expected to generate at least $90 million. The first $84 million would be deposited in a regional cities development fund.

“On-line communities will (also) be asked to support a small portion of long-term service costs,” Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Will Wingfield said. “INDOT met with city representatives last week to discuss this.”

The Hoosier State will continue to operate with Amtrak equipment through June 30 or  “until long-term agreements can be finalized with Amtrak and Iowa Pacific Holdings.”

Iowa Pacific continues to modify equipment that it owns and it is expected to be inspected by Federal Railroad Administration, Amtrak, and Food and Drug Administration personnel in late May.

“July 1 is our target date for Iowa Pacific to begin work as INDOT’s contractor, but there are many aspects outside of (our) control,” Wingfield said.

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