Hoosier State (train)
The Hoosier State in Shelby, Indiana in 2011
|Service type||Inter-city rail|
|First service||October 1, 1980|
|Ridership||119 per train
37,249 total (FY11)
|Distance travelled||196 miles (315 km)|
|Track owner(s)||CSXT, UP, BRC Metra, NS|
The Hoosier State is an Amtrak passenger train that provides service on a 196-mile (315 km) route between Chicago and Indianapolis. It runs on the four days each week that the Cardinal does not run – departing Chicago Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and departing Indianapolis Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday – giving the Chicago–Indianapolis market daily rail service.
Prior to Amtrak, the Chicago–Indianapolis market was served by several daily trains, the Pennsylvania Railroad's South Wind and Kentuckian, and the New York Central's James Whitcomb Riley, Indianapolis Special, and Sycamore. With the creation of Amtrak, riders were served by the South Wind and the George Washington/James Whitcomb Riley.[page needed] However, with Penn Central's financial instability, track maintenance was rare, and Amtrak shifted both trains to other routes through Indiana, leaving Indianapolis to be served only by the National Limited, which ran between New York and Kansas City.
The National Limited's discontinuance in 1979 severed Indianapolis from the national rail network, and isolated Amtrak's Beech Grove Shops in the Indianapolis suburb of Beech Grove. The passenger carrier had been using the National Limited to ferry railroad cars to and from its shops; it was forced to run special trains to Indianapolis instead.[page needed]
The Hoosier State entered service on October 1, 1980. On April 27, 1986, the Cardinal was rerouted to use the same tracks as the Hoosier State between Chicago and Indianapolis, and began running on days the Cardinal did not operate. The Hoosier State was restored to daily operation on a separate schedule from the Cardinal on October 25, 1987. But funding cuts led to its discontinuance on September 8, 1995 while the Cardinal continued tri-weekly operation between Chicago, Indianapolis and the East Coast. Amtrak restored the Hoosier State on July 19, 1998, as a tri-, later quad-weekly train.
From December 17, 1999, to July 4, 2003, the Hoosier State was extended south from Indianapolis to Louisville, Kentucky, and renamed the Kentucky Cardinal. After the discontinuance of the Kentucky Cardinal, the Hoosier State returned to operating four days a week in tandem with the Cardinal.
On October 16, 2008, the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) was signed into law, requiring states to bear the operating and capital costs of intercity rail passenger service on Amtrak routes of not more than 750 mi (1,210 km) within 5 years. At a length of 196 mi (315 km), the Hoosier State was affected by this provision of PRIIA, and the State of Indiana became responsible for funding the Hoosier State beginning on October 1, 2013.
Faced with termination of a service that would have left the Chicago–Indianapolis corridor with only thrice-weekly train service, state and local officials arrived at a deal to share the US$3,000,000 annual cost of the service, becoming the last state in the nation to arrive at a deal to save its short-distance train line on October 15, 2013. Operating costs above ticket revenue continue to be covered by the Indiana Department of Transportation and communities along the route.
Indiana sought alternatives to Amtrak operation and, on June 24, 2014, selected Corridor Capitol, a Chicago-based rail passenger services development company, as its preferred vendor to manage and operate the service. Planning was underway for the company to take over the service as early as October 1, 2014. However, Corridor Capitol did not meet that deadline and Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) discontinued negotiations with the company in November 2014. Amtrak continued to operate the train service under short-term contract extensions while the state considers alternative vendors.
On March 6, 2015, INDOT announced that the Hoosier State would discontinue service on April 1, 2015. The decision was made due to regulations of the Federal Railroad Administration that would have required the state of Indiana to act as a rail carrier, despite the state owning no tracks or trains, which – according to INDOT – would have increased the cost to Indiana taxpayers for no additional benefit. After Indiana appealed to the FRA, the train's operation was extended to April 30, while Amtrak continued to operate the Hoosier State under a short-term agreement while negotiations continued.
On August 2, 2015, INDOT contracted with both Iowa Pacific and Amtrak in order to continue the Hoosier State, with Iowa Pacific responsible for providing and maintaining equipment, food service, and marketing, and Amtrak responsible for providing ticketing services and train operating crews (engineers, conductors, and assistant conductors). The contract had four option years.
Once the service improvements instituted by Iowa Pacific took hold, including the addition of full-service dining, onboard Wi-Fi, business-class service, and a dome car, ridership began increasing and was up 5.8% in July 2016 over the previous July, with FY 2016 (October 2015–July 2016) revenues up 32.8% from the prior year.
On January 30, 2017, INDOT announced that Iowa Pacific was no longer able to fulfill the contract and had asked to be released from the contract early, prior to its original end date of June 30, 2017. As a result, the equipment and personnel provided by Iowa Pacific were withdrawn and replaced by Amtrak equipment and on-board services personnel in advance of March 1 run of the westbound train from Indianapolis.
- CSX Indianapolis Subdivision, Indianapolis Terminal Subdivision, Crawfordsville Branch Subdivision, Monon Subdivision, and Eldson Subdivision Indianapolis to Thornton
- UP Villa Grove Subdivision, Thornton to 80th Street
- BRC, 80th Street Interlocking
- Metra SouthWest Service, 80th Street to 21st Street.
- NS Chicago Line, CP518 to 21st Street.
The standard Hoosier State consist is two coaches (generally Amtrak's short-distance Horizon equipment) and a Horizon or Amfleet cafe car. In addition to standard food service, the cafe car allows for Business Class seating and complimentary WiFi. Motive power is commonly a General Electric Genesis P42DC locomotive. After Amtrak resumed operations in March 2017, the Great Dome car Ocean View was added.
While operated by Iowa Pacific, the train included Iowa Pacific owned ex-Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Big Dome Summit View and three passenger cars, with power provided by a fleet of three ex-NJT GP40FH-2 diesel locomotives.
|Indiana||Indianapolis||Indianapolis||Amtrak: Thruway Motorcoach to Champaign, Illinois; Danville, Illinois; Davenport, Iowa; Galesburg, Illinois; Greater Peoria Regional Airport in Peoria, Illinois; Louisville, Kentucky; Moline, Illinois; and Normal, Illinois|
CityBus: 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3B, 4A, 4B, 6A, 6B, 7
|Illinois||Chicago||Chicago Union Station||Amtrak: Blue Water, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Carl Sandburg, City of New Orleans, Empire Builder, Hiawatha, Illini, Illinois Zephyr, Lake Shore Limited, Lincoln Service, Pere Marquette, Saluki, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Wolverine, Thruway Motorcoach to Louisville, Kentucky; Madison, Wisconsin; and Rockford, Illinois
CTA: 14, 19, 20, X20, 38, 56, 60, 120, 122, 124, 127, 129, 157
Metra: BNSF Railway, HC, MD-N, MD-W, NCS, SWS
- "Amtrak Ridership Rolls Up Best-Ever Records" (PDF). Amtrak. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- Schafer 1991
- Sanders 2006, p. 215
- Sanders 2006, p. 220
- "Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (P. L. 110-432, Division B) 122 Stat. 4907". Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 16 October 2008. p. 122. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Federal Railroad Administration Overview, Highlights and Summary of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA)" (PDF). Federal Railroad Administration. 10 March 2009. p. 2. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- Ryckaert, Vic (24 September 2013). "State hashing out plan to save daily Amtrak trains from Indianapolis to Chicago". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "Governor Pence Announces Agreement with Amtrak". State of Indiana, Department of Transportation (INDOT). 15 October 2013.
- Vizza, Chris Morrise (10 November 2014). "State ends negotiations with Amtrak alternative". Journal & Courier.
- "Amtrak's Hoosier State Line to end service April 1". WTHR. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
- Tuohy, John (6 March 2015). "State to end Amtrak's Hoosier State line". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
- Wilkins, Ron (13 March 2015). "Hoosier State line gets 30-day extension". Journal & Courier. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
- "Short-term deal keeps Amtrak route between Chicago and Indianapolis open". Chicago Tribune. April 6, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
- Johnston, Bob (31 July 2015). "'Hoosier State' Iowa Pacific Holdings takeover tentatively set for Aug. 2". Trains. Retrieved 14 August 2015. (subscription required)
- Vizza, Chris Morisse (2 August 2015). "Amtrak, state agreement on rail service pending". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- "New Hoosier State Train Offers Wi-Fi, Food Service, Dome-Car". Mass Transit Magazine.
- "Hoosier State changes over to Amtrak beginning in March". WLFI-TV. January 30, 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
- Spohr, Greg (January 31, 2017). "Amtrak takes over Hoosier State train". Lafayette Journal & Courier. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
- "Cardinal / Hoosier State". Amtrak. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
- "Hoosier State Train Service Transitions on Wednesday". XRock 103.9. February 28, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
- Johnston, Bob (6 March 2015). "Indiana may challenge FRA decision; Iowa Pacific reveals planned 'Hoosier State' equipment". Trains. Retrieved 7 March 2015. (subscription required)
- Cardinal and Hoosier State; New York and Chicago route Schedule; 2008
- Sanders, Craig (2006). Amtrak in the Heartland. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-34705-X.
- Schafer, Mike (1991). All Aboard Amtrak: 1971-1991. Piscataway, NJ: Railpace. ISBN 0-9621-5414-8.
- Johnston, Bob (March 2016). "Hoosier State reflects a new approach". Trains. 76 (3).
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