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Rail News: Amtrak

INDOT prepares for public-private operation of Hoosier rail service


A test train was operated between Chicago and Indianapolis last weekend as part of the final step in inspections of rail cars and locomotives for future Hoosier State service, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announced yesterday.

Completion of the inspections and related documentation will allow INDOT officials to finalize long-term service contracts with Amtrak and Iowa Pacific Holdings, INDOT officials said.

Under the proposed service, Amtrak and Iowa Pacific would provide service on the line, with Amtrak serving as the primary operator working with host railroads, providing train and engine crews, and managing reservation and ticketing. Iowa Pacific would provide the train equipment, train maintenance, on-board services and marketing.

The state's contracts would require Amtrak and Iowa Pacific, separately, to comply with all Amtrak and FRA requirements, INDOT officials said. The department will designate a staff member to oversee contract compliance.

INDOT missed its deadline of launching the public-private service by July 1, according to the Lafayette Journal & Courier.