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Hoosier State passenger-rail service between Indianapolis and Chicago will continue through Jan. 31, 2015, under an agreement announced yesterday by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT).The department, city of Indianapolis and several other communities agreed to use the four-month contract extension allowed under Indiana's existing agreement with Amtrak. INDOT also is negotiating with Corridor Capital L.L.C. to improve the service and its funding model by the time the contract extension ends in January, INDOT officials said in a press release."For the Hoosier State, we are hoping to build from the experience of North Carolina's successful Piedmont service, in which the state and its private contractors worked with Amtrak to improve and grow passenger rail," said INDOT Multimodal Director Robert Zier.The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act ended federal support for certain Amtrak routes of less than 750 miles in October 2013. Indiana was the first state in the nation to seek competing proposals from independent providers as allowed by the act. 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 among four proposals.
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