Hoosier State passenger service running between Indianapolis and Chicago will end on April 1, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) said Friday.
But, Amtrak now says the service doesn’t have to end.
State officials said they made the decision in the wake of a Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) decision that requires the state to serve as a railroad. However, Indiana does not own any track or trains, and officials apparently worked with the FRA to waive the requirement.
“Passenger rail providers and the host railroads are already required to comply with FRA rules,” INDOT Commissioner Karl Browning said in a news release. “Requiring a redundant layer of bureaucracy would not create improvements in passenger rail service or safety, it would only increase taxpayer costs.”
But, Amtrak said the service does not have to end and is willing to follow a model used in other states. Amtrak, for example, operates Piedmont service trains in North Carolina.
“Daily Amtrak service to Indianapolis does not have to end in April. Amtrak has offered to continue to operate the train on a month-to-month basis,” Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman said in a statement. “Amtrak is ready, willing and able to continue to provide safe and reliable service using one of the proven models we’ve used in other states.”
INDOT and several cities served by Hoosier State trains — Indianapolis, Crawfordsville, Lafayette, Rensselaer and Dyer — split the cost of operations of the four days per week Hoosier State service, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. Amtrak’s Cardinal trains running between Chicago and New York City will still serve Indianapolis three days per week.
Between the Cardinal and Hoosier State services, Amtrak offers daily service between Indianapolis and Chicago.