Iowa Pacific’s Hoosier State Has Teething Issues

Iowa Pacific had to cancel its southbound Hoosier State run on Monday evening because it missed a connection earlier in the day with Amtrak’s northbound Cardinal.

As a result, passengers booked aboard the Hoosier State rode a bus that night instead.

“A process failure resulted in the Cardinal leaving the train behind,” said Iowa Pacific President Ed Ellis. “A subsequent conference call among Amtrak, Iowa Pacific and the Indiana Department of Transportation addressed the issue to prevent a recurrence.”

On Monday mornings, the Iowa Pacific equipment must deadhead to Chicago from Indianapolis on the Cardinal so as to be in position to operate southbound that evening.

Indiana is only paying Iowa Pacific to operate the Hoosier State on the four days a week that the Cardinal does not operate.

Amtrak’s contract with CSX does not include a provision for running a separate Hoosier State over the route on days that the Cardinal operates.

The tri-weekly Chicago-New York train operates to Chicago on Monday morning, but doesn’t depart from Chicago for New York until Tuesday evening.

The Iowa Pacific equipment that arrived in Chicago on Tuesday morning must deadhead to Indianapolis on the rear of the Cardinal on Tuesday evening as well.

During the deadhead moves, no passengers are permitted to ride in the Iowa Pacific equipment.

On Thursdays and Saturdays, the Cardinal operates to and from Chicago from Indianapolis so the IP equipment does not need to deadhead.

On Tuesday morning, the Iowa Pacific-operated Hoosier State departed Indianapolis on time and arrived in Chicago 36 minutes early, largely due to schedule padding.

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