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Indiana Department of Transportation

INDOT > About INDOT > Central Office > Hoosier State Passenger Rail Hoosier State Passenger Rail

The Hoosier State and Amtrak’s 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. For schedule information and to purchase tickets, please visit Amtrak's Cardinal/Hoosier State web page.

Public Funding

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 Indianapolis, Crawfordsville, Rensselaer, Lafayette, West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County and Beech Grove to fund Hoosier State operating and capital costs not covered with ticket revenue.

Local communities with stops along the Hoosier State line are financing more than half of the monthly payments in cash or in-kind contributions. The communities that are contributing funding have a vested interest in improving performance and ensuring accountability for the tax dollars being invested. The Indiana Department of Transportation and its community partners have committed to reexamining the funding model before the contract extension ends in January 2015.

Request for Proposal

Indiana’s Request for Proposals 1404s1 in April 2014 was the first in the nation to seek competing operators as allowed under the Passenger Rail Improvement and Investment Act. Corridor Capital LLC, Herzog Transit Services Inc./Passenger Transportation Specialists Inc., Iowa Pacific Holdings Inc. and Railmark Holdings Inc. submitted proposals to improve the Hoosier State service, increase the number of passengers and decrease operating costs.

Corridor Capital partnered with RailPlan International, which has provided train inspection and maintenance services for state-supported passenger rail services in North Carolina and Maryland, to submit the highest-scoring proposal.

Amtrak Agreement

INDOT’s current funding agreement with Amtrak maintains the preexisting Hoosier State service. This includes a monthly credit to ferry rolling stock between Chicago and Amtrak’s heavy maintenance facility in Beech Grove. In August 2013, INDOT and the local communities agreed to use the contract extension allowed under the state’s existing agreement with Amtrak, which continues service through Jan. 31, 2015.

Cost Benefit Analysis

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 supports a multi-modal strategy to address the 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.

Related Links

Amtrak Contact Information

Amtrak Reservations & Customer Service
1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245)
TDD/TTY 1-800-523-6590

INDOT Contact Information

Robert Zier
Director of Multimodal Planning & Programs
Indiana Department of Transportation
100 N. Senate Ave., IGCN 955
Indianapolis, IN 46204