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Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak ready to take over Hoosier State service

Amtrak will begin operating Hoosier State service March 1.
Photo – Indiana Department of Transportation


Amtrak and the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announced yesterday some of the service amenities the railroad will offer as it takes over the Hoosier State service starting tomorrow.

Amtrak, which is assuming the passenger-rail service from Iowa Pacific Holdings Inc., will provide Horizon-series coach cars, each seating 68 passengers. A cafe car with an attendant will offer table seating at one end of the car and private seating at the opposite end for 14 business class passengers, Amtrak and INDOT said in a press release.

All cars will have power outlets, reading lights and tray tables at each seat, with free cellular-based AmtrakConnect® Wi-Fi service.

Also, for the month of March, the Hoosier State will include the only dome car in Amtrak service. The car was built in 1955 by the Budd Company for the Great Northern Railway.

Passengers will be allowed up to four bags. Coach riders can bring cats or small dogs in a soft-side carrier for a fee.

The train operates four days a week between Indianapolis and Chicago with intermediate stops in Crawfordsville, Lafayette, Rensselaer and Dyer.

INDOT announced last month that Iowa Pacific Holdings would no longer be able to provide Hoosier State service effective March 1. The company operated the service under an agreement with INDOT and Amtrak since July 2015.

Iowa Pacific chose to end its involvement in the Hoosier State service because the company is "reducing marginal business units to focus on its core business," Iowa Pacific President Ed Ellis said in an email last month.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/28/2017