NewsPublic Affairs / August 20, 2014

Contract Extension Will Keep Hoosier State Rail Line Running Through January

Gretchen Frazee
Contract Extension Will Keep Hoosier State Rail Line Running Through January

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Indiana is extending Amtrak’s contract to operate the Hoosier State passenger rail line from Indianapolis to Chicago. 

The Indiana Department of Transportation and the communities along the line’s route have agreed to run the train service through the end of January. The previous contract was set to expire in October and was only considered a temporary fix after Congressional funding for the line was not renewed.

The state is also negotiating with another company – Corridor Capital – to possibly take over the line’s operations and improve the service and funding model.

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski says he agrees with the extension because of the benefits it brings to his community but the city's financial support for the line does have limits.

"We have the capacity to do it for this next four months and we would have some capacity going forward for a reasonable period of time, but I have no intention of us funding this indefinitely," he says. "That's not going to be an option."

On top of improving its finances, Roswarski says the line should improve its speed and amenities such as food options and Wi-Fi availability.