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Amtrak’s Hoosier State and long-distance Cardinal services combine to provide daily roundtrip passenger rail service between Indianapolis and Chicago, which includes intermediate stops in Crawfordsville, Lafayette, Rensselaer and Dyer. This service is financed primarily through funds made available by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and communities along the route. For schedule information and to purchase tickets, please visit Amtrak's Cardinal/Hoosier State web page.
Congress voted in 2008 to end federal support for the Hoosier State and other Amtrak routes of less than 750 miles. Governor Mike Pence announced in October 2013 that the state of Indiana had partnered with local communities to fund Hoosier State operating and capital costs not covered with ticket revenue. Communities with stops along the Hoosier State line are financing more than half of the $223,249 monthly payment in cash or in-kind contributions:
“I am pleased that the State of Indiana, in partnership with local communities, was able to reach an agreement with Amtrak to keep the Hoosier State line operating over the next year,” said Governor Pence. “This agreement will make Hoosier jobs more secure and preserve an important transportation link for Indiana. I am grateful for the leadership of the Indiana Department of Transportation and the generous support of many of the communities with stops along the Hoosier State line.”
At the governor’s direction, state and local partners will monitor ridership and explore service improvements to ensure long-term viability as part of an oversight group that has not yet been formed. The communities that are contributing funding will have a vested interest in improving performance and ensuring accountability for the tax dollars being invested.
INDOT will make monthly payments of $223,249 to maintain the existing Hoosier State service for one year with an option for an additional four months of service. The amount includes a monthly credit of $21,667 to ferry rolling stock between Chicago and Amtrak’s heavy maintenance shop in Beech Grove.
At the request of its partners in the legislature, INDOT funded a cost benefit analysis that studied the impacts of discontinuing the service, keeping the status quo or improving the service. Improvement options include variations in frequencies and departure/arrival times.
INDOT is supportive of a multi-modal strategy to address current and future surface transportation needs of the state of Indiana and Indiana taxpayers. In general, INDOT will satisfactorily maintain, support and operate our transportation infrastructure at the lowest cost to taxpayers. INDOT provides cost-effective transportation solutions to reduce traffic congestion, improve public safety, improve air quality, encourage economic development and encourage job growth.
Amtrak Reservations & Customer Service
Director of Multimodal Planning & Programs
Indiana Department of Transportation
100 N. Senate Ave., IGCN 955
Indianapolis, IN 46204