Amtrak Ready To Vie For “Hoosier State” Service
October 1, 2014 — Eric Berman, Network Indiana — Amtrak‘s C-E-O says he‘s skeptical of the private company set to take over management of the Indy-to-Chicago “Hoosier State” passenger train in February:
Indianapolis Business Journal — Amtrak is getting ready to fend off the competition invited by INDOT for its “Hoosier State” passenger service between Chicago and Indianapolis.
Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman plans to be in Indianapolis Wednesday morning to ride what he calls a “special” train on the “Hoosier State” route and announce improvements to the service.
Amtrak will continue operating the “Hoosier State” through January 31st under a four-month extension of its agreement with INDOT.
INDOT and some of the communities along the route came up with a subsidy needed to continue it. In the meantime, INDOT sought bids from other rail companies… and in June INDOT decided to work with Chicago-based Corridor Capital LLC. INDOT hasn’t yet signed a contract with Corridor, and now Amtrak is trying to strengthen its own bid. CEO Boardman says his service is superior to Corridor’s.
Amtrak didn’t participate in INDOT’s bidding process last spring, but spokesman Marc Magliari said Amtrak submitted a document that expressed interest in renewing the service for another year.
The “Hoosier State” operates four days a week, making stops at Dyer and Rensselaer, alternating with the cross-country “Cardinal” line.