Locomotive Issues Sideline Hoosier State

Locomotive issues forced the cancellation of five trips of the Hoosier State over the past week.

The cancellations resulted after an inspection found defects in one of two GP40FH-2 locomotives used by Iowa Pacific to operate the Chicago-Indianapolis passenger train. The canceled trips occurred between Sept. 23 and 29.

Trains magazine reported that an Amtrak inspector “bad ordered” an IP locomotive because springs on one of the locomotive’s trucks were not seated properly and needed adjustment.

Two other Iowa Pacific units are out of service, one of which has been waiting for a new air compressor for more than a week.

The inspection occurred just before IP No. 4144 was set to deadhead with other Iowa Pacific equipment on the rear of Amtrak’s Cardinal on Sept. 22.

No. 4144 could not be left behind because the head-end power generator wasn’t operable on the other Iowa Pacific engine in the consist.

Amtrak repaired the IP locomotive in Chicago. As the repairs were being made, chartered buses replaced the Hoosier State on the Sept. 23 southbound trip and the Sept. 25 northbound trek.

The Hoosier State made four trips between Sept. 25 and last Monday, but an inspector hired by the State of Indiana found other defects not discovered in previous Amtrak and Federal Railroad Administration inspections.

These included windshield glass that had been installed backwards.

As a result, passengers were back on the bus Monday evening, Tuesday morning and on both Wednesday trips.

The Hoosier State operates on days that Amtrak’s Chicago-New York Cardinal does not operate.

The Cardinal operates in both directions on Thursday so the Hoosier State is slated to next operate on Friday in both directions.

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