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Amtrak summit in Lafayette

Passenger rail service in Indiana is expected to take a big hit October 1. That’s the day federal funding ends for the Hoosier State Line.

Amtrak is asking the Indiana Department of Transportation for $3 million to keep trains running four-days-a-week between Indianapolis and Chicago.

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski says losing the Hoosier State Line would hurt the state and local economies.

“Think about how many people you can move and if it can be improved, and the economic impact, also our global standing. When you weigh all those factors, you know, we have to look forward.”

Greater Lafayette Commerce is hosting a statewide summit on keeping daily Amtrak service. It’s Wednesday morning with lawmakers, Amtrak officials and rail experts scheduled to take part. Michigan Department of Transportation officials will talk about their state’s experience with high-speed rail as well.

Roswarski says Indiana needs to provide the necessary funding to keep the Hoosier State Line operating.

“Rail transportation is critically important for our communities and our state to be competitive going into the future. The new millennial generation, new, young entrepreneurs – the people we’re trying to attract to our communities – they really look at transportation options.”

The Federal Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 eliminates U.S. Department of Transportation funding for the Hoosier State Line and others routes of fewer than 750 miles. The Hoosier State Line, along with the Cardinal Line, provide daily transportation between Indianapolis and Chicago.

The public is invited to the Amtrak Summit in Lafayette. Registration and other details are HERE.

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