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Indiana Department of Transportation

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

The Hoosier State train 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 the Hoosier State train website. 

Public Funding

Congress voted to end federal support for the Hoosier State and other Amtrak routes of less than 750 miles effective October 2013. The state of Indiana partnered with on-line local governments to fund Hoosier State operating and capital costs not covered with ticket revenue.

Initially INDOT anticipates paying a total of $254,527 per month and the communities of Crawfordsville, Lafayette, Rensselaer, Tippecanoe County and West Lafayette would pay a combined $21,194 per month
The communities that are contributing funding have a vested interest in improving performance and ensuring accountability for the tax dollars being invested.

Request for Proposal

Indiana issued Request for Proposals 1404s1 in April 2014. 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. 

Iowa Pacific was selected as the state's contractor to provide the train equipment, train maintenance, marketing and food and beverage service. Iowa Pacific is one of the world's premier private providers of passenger and excursion trains with services in Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Texas and other states. Indiana's contract continues through June 30, 2017, and INDOT may prolong the service with Iowa Pacific for up to four addition years. 

Amtrak Agreement

Amtrak serves as the operator for the Hoosier State, working with host railroads, providing train and engine crews, and managing ticketing and reservations. The train continues to be operated by experienced and well-trained Amtrak crews responsible for safe operations. Amtrak eTickets, paper tickets and reservations continue to be issued.

FRA Determination

INDOT and the Federal Railroad Administration reached an understanding of the clear lines of accountability for safety and accessibility, allowing Indiana to seek private-sector competition for passenger rail.
Indiana’s contracts require its vendors to comply with all Amtrak and FRA requirements. In addition, INDOT has designated a staff member responsible for overseeing contract compliance.

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.

Related Links

INDOT Contact Information

Venetta Keefe
Passenger Rail Contract Manager
Indiana Department of Transportation
100 N. Senate Ave., IGCN 955
Indianapolis, IN 46204