Indiana and Amtrak agree to extend funding for rail line

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana and Amtrak have reached a tentative agreement that will keep a passenger line between Indianapolis and Chicago running for at least another year.

Gov. Mike Pence announced Tuesday that the deal will keep the Hoosier State passenger rail service operating for one year with an option for an additional four months. Funding for the operations will come from the Indiana Department of Transportation and seven communities, including Indianapolis, Lafayette and Crawfordsville.

“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,” Pence said. “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.”

The rail line's future had been in doubt since Congress voted in 2008 to cut off $3.1 million in annual federal funding for passenger lines of less than 750 miles. The decision affected 19 states.

Indiana was the final state to reach a funding agreement to continue service. Cities and counties partnering with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to fund the service include:

  • Indianapolis
  • Crawfordsville
  • Rensselaer
  • Lafayette/West Lafayette
  • Tippecanoe County
  • Beech Grove

“At the Governor’s direction, the agreement allows state and local partners to monitor ridership and explore service improvements to ensure long-term viability,” said INDOT Commissioner Karl Browning. “The communities that are contributing funding will have a vested interest in improving performance and ensuring accountability for the tax dollars being invested.”

The 196-mile Hoosier State runs four days a week.

 

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