Federal Railroad Administration

Could The Hoosier State Line Come Back?

Jun 28, 2019
Seth Tackett / WFIU/WTIU News

 

The Hoosier State Line will make its final trip from Indianapolis to Chicago on Sunday.

It's ending after Governor Eric Holcomb eliminated $3 million in annual funding for the route from the two-year state budget that starts July 1.

Hoosiers will still be able to catch a train to Chicago on the Cardinal Line, but that route starts in New York and only runs three days a week. 

Chris Morisse Vizza

Results are mixed one year into a two-year partnership involving the state, Amtrak, a private contractor and communities served by the Hoosier State passenger train.

The state’s goal has been to improve the route, attract more riders and generate more revenue to make the four-times-a-week round-trip service between Indianapolis and Chicago more self-sufficient.

WBAA’s Chris Morisse Vizza assess the progress thus far, and whether it’s enough to win continued funding from Indiana legislators.

Dave Dugdale / https://www.flickr.com/photos/davedugdale/

Indiana’s 2015 tax amnesty program surpassed its goal of collecting at least $90 million. 

That ensures funding for key state programs, including the Hoosier State passenger train that runs between Indianapolis and Chicago and stops in Lafayette. 

The two-month tax amnesty program generated $100 million from Hoosiers who owed back taxes and repaid them without penalties, interest or fines.  

Delinquent taxpayers have promised an additional $22 million through payment plans that run through June 2016. 

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Indiana Department of Transportation officials have reached an agreement in principal with the Federal Railroad Administration to keep the “Hoosier State” Amtrak line running indefinitely.

The line, which has faced no fewer than four threats of closure in just the past six months, was set to cease operation at the end of this month if a deal wasn’t reached.

INDOT To Cancel Hoosier State Line April 1st

Mar 9, 2015
Stan Jastrzebski/WBAA News

5 p.m. MONDAY UPDATE:  

The president of the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance is disappointed by INDOT‘s decision to end Amtrak’s "Hoosier State" rail service on April first.

But Steve Coxhead thinks the federal ruling on rail service shorter than 750 miles was rushed into effect because Indiana was negotiating with a private company.