Iowa Pacific Backing Away From Hoosier State

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Amtrak has contracts with Indiana and 17 other states for short-distance, intercity passenger rail services. Amtrak has contracts with Indiana and 17 other states for short-distance, intercity passenger rail services.

The Hoosier State passenger train will return to its previous equipment provider. The Indiana Department of Transportation says it came to a mutual separation agreement with Chicago-based Iowa Pacific Holdings Inc., which currently provides trains, on-board services and marketing. Amtrak, which covers ticketing, track coordination and train crews, is slated to resume using its equipment for the Indianapolis-to-Chicago rail line March 1st.

Funding for the Hoosier State is provided by INDOT and the communities along the route: Crawfordsville, Dyer, Lafayette, Rensselaer and West Lafayette. Prior to Iowa Pacific's more than year-long involvement, Amtrak provided all services for the route. It will resume the roles following Iowa Pacific's last day February 28.

INDOT tells Inside INdiana Business Iowa Pacific notified the state it would be unable to continue providing equipment and on-board services under the terms of the current arrangement. In a statement, Iowa Pacific President Ed Ellis said:

We are certainly grateful to INDOT for providing the opportunity to demonstrate that service enhancements can drive improvements in customer satisfaction, revenue and ridership, and we wish INDOT well as they transition to a different service model.

INDOT says ticketed riders will not need to take action for rides beginning March 1. The department says it is working with the supporting communities to provide on-board amenities such as Wi-Fi and business class seating. Final service details will be announced to booked passengers once they are finalized.

You can connect to a news release about the announcement from the Indiana Department of Transportation by clicking here.

INDOT says Amtrak's heavy maintenance facility in Beech Grove, which overhauls and rebuilds railcars and locomotives like the kind that will be used for the Hoosier State, employs more than 500.

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