Hoosier State line

Amtrak’s Hoosier State Line made one final round trip between Indianapolis and Chicago Sunday before discontinuing service. For some on board, it was an emotional day.

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. 

The Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance urged lawmakers at the Statehouse Wednesday to continue funding a four day-a-week passenger train from Indianapolis to Chicago.

The Hoosier State Amtrak line has received $3 million in state funding each year. This funding was removed from this year’s state budget.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Last year, Crawfordsville’s Human Rights Commission changed city ordinances to ensure they could not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

But when the Indiana Senate passed a hate crimes bill this week, it did not include any such language. That angers one listener to WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, who wants to know what Crawfordsville’s Todd Barton plans to do about it when he next talks to State Senator Phil Boots, who voted for the stripped-down bill.

The work of the 2019 legislative session began in earnest this week as the governor unveiled his budget, lawmakers debated a revenge porn bill, and hate crimes bill advocates launched a new coalition.

Holcomb's Budget Proposal Could Derail Hoosier State Line

Jan 10, 2019
Passengers board the Hoosier State train Friday Aug. 19, 2016. (FILE PHOTO: Chris Morisse Vizza/WBAA)
Samantha Horton

Gov. Eric Holcomb’s proposed budget eliminates the state’s annual subsidy to fund the Hoosier State Amtrak train. The announcement came as a surprise to local officials whose cities are served by the line.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

As we were preparing for this week’s Ask The Mayor conversation with Lafayette’s Tony Roswarski, a surprise announcement came from Governor Eric Holcomb’s budget wonks: the state plans to drop its support for the Hoosier State Line.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

State lawmakers recently passed a bill allowing municipalities to regulate room rentals on websites like AirBnb.

That came after the City of Lafayette passed an ordinance with very similar language making people who rent their rooms on such sites pay a registration fee.

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we’ll find out from Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski how many people have already registered and how the city plans to track down those who don’t pay the fee.

courtesy Indiana House Republicans

State Representative Sally Siegrist (R-West Lafayette) has been named to the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission – a group advocating for train travel in the nation’s midsection.

It’s a position also held by Siegrist’s legislative predecessor, Rep. Randy Truitt (R-West Lafayette). And, like Truitt, she says she’d like to see more trains between Indianapolis and Chicago on a daily basis – but she admits there are challenges.

Marc Magliari, Amtrak

Amtrak ramped up its services Wednesday when it resumed complete control of all facets of the Hoosier State train that runs eight times a week between Indianapolis and Chicago.

The arrival of Amtrak’s high profile dome car, food service, business class and free Wi-Fi signal local, state and federal leaders are focused on maintaining revenue gains achieved after the state hired a private contractor to market and improve the money-losing service.

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