The Indiana Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration continue to finalize details of long-term safety and accessibility improvements to the Hoosier State Line. INDOT, Amtrak and Iowa Pacific Holdings say they will continue to operate the Indianapolis-to-Chicago service until the deal is complete.
Originally Posted April 6, 2015
Indianapolis, Ind. — The Indiana Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration reached an understanding of the clear lines of accountability for passenger rail safety and accessibility between Indianapolis and Chicago, allowing Indiana to implement long-term improvements to the daily service.
INDOT Commissioner Karl Browning met in Indianapolis with FRA staff last week to discuss the roles and responsibilities for providing safe passenger rail service. Indiana's contracts would require Amtrak and Iowa Pacific Holdings, separately, to comply with all Amtrak and FRA requirements. In addition, INDOT would designate a staff member responsible for overseeing contract compliance.
“INDOT and the FRA share the guiding principles of access to safe mobility,” Browning said. “Based on these guiding principles, we are both committed to a path toward continuing the Hoosier State service.”
INDOT plans to continue existing Amtrak Hoosier State service in the near term until agreements can be finalized with Amtrak and Iowa Pacific. Amtrak, FRA and U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspections of Iowa Pacific equipment are ongoing.
The four-days-weekly Hoosier State (Trains 850 & 851) and the three-days-weekly Amtrak Cardinal (Trains 50 & 51) provide daily service between Indianapolis and Chicago and enable passengers to reach the national Amtrak network.
Tickets are available at Amtrak.com, 800-USA-RAIL and other sales channels, including Amtrak mobile apps. Adult fares range from $24 to $48 each way and are subject to discounts and Amtrak Guest Rewards points.
Long-term service plan
For the past year, INDOT has been working to improve passenger rail between Indianapolis and Chicago on behalf of the state and communities with stops along the Hoosier State line. Recently, INDOT has been making progress in negotiating long-term agreements with two experienced passenger rail providers, Amtrak and Iowa Pacific.
Under the proposed service, Amtrak would serve as the primary operator, working with host railroads, providing train and engine crews, and managing reservation and ticketing. Iowa Pacific would provide the train equipment, train maintenance, on-board services and marketing.
Source: Indiana Department of Transportation