Amtrak Will Run Hoosier State a While Longer

The Indiana Department of Transportation has asked Amtrak to continue operating the Chicago-Indianapolis Hoosier State while it works out contract details for having Iowa Pacific take over the train.

It is the fourth time that INDOT has requested an extension on an October 2013 contract with Amtrak after federal lawmakers stopped funding routes shorter than 750 miles.

INDOT has an agreement with Iowa Pacific whereby it will furnish locomotives and passenger cars while Amtrak continues to provide operating crew members. Iowa Pacific will take an active role in marketing the service, which operates quad-weekly on days that Amtrak’s Chicago-New York Cardinal does not operate in Indiana.

Iowa Pacific was originally set to take over the Hoosier State on July 1 and conducted a test run in late June.

INDOT says that Amtrak will continue operating the Hoosier State for only as long as it takes to finish the contracts and give the required notices of a change in service.

Iowa Pacific Holdings President Ed Ellis has said that planned improvements to the Hoosier State will include food and beverage service, WiFi and a business class section.

Iowa Pacific operates several excursion trains around the country, including a service on the back of Amtrak’s City of New Orleans that uses restored vintage Pullman cars.

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