Future of the Hoosier State

January 31, 2017
Dylan Hayward

Monday it was announced that Hoosier State service will transition to railcars, locomotives and on-board services supplied by Amtrak beginning March 1, 2017. The previous agreement saw Iowa Pacific provide these services along with marketing, while Amtrak provided ticketing, track access and the crew.

We believe that this type of partnership remains a very viable option for this and other routes. It can be extremely beneficial to have an outside operator that is incentivized to focus on improving on-time performance (OTP) and growing ridership. The Hoosier State public-private partnership resulted in better on board amenities, improved OTP, a new business class and increased revenue.

In order for the Hoosier State to be successful there needs to be additional frequencies, faster trip times and new high-performance trainsets. The other improvements and the operator of the train will not matter if the state does not invest in track improvements. INDOT should work with CSX to upgrade the tracks so the operator can run at least 5 trains/day with a shortened trip time of 3 ½ hours. 

The biggest challenge with this route is the entry into Chicago. The new extension of the South Shore called the West Lake Corridor Project could provide the answer.

The Chicago-Indianapolis Corridor is a fantastic market for high-frequency passenger rail service. We strongly urge the state to make the needed investments.

Best,

Dylan Hayward
Program Manager

Last Week at MHSRA:

We gave a presentation to Southland Chicago leaders and residents about how CrossRail Chicago would have a positive impact in the Southland region. You can check out the presentation here.

Articles We Enjoyed:

Hoosier State Returns to Amtrak Fold
"Although the agreement was due to run until mid-2017, with an optional four-year extension, Iowa Pacific told INDOT that it was ‘unable to continue providing passenger train equipment and on-board services under the terms of its existing contract’."

Africa’s First High-Speed Railway Line Due to Commence Operations in June Next Year
“Construction of the first commercial high speed railway line in Africa is well underway in Morocco.”

Britain Launches HS2 Rolling Stock Procurement
"Procurement of a fleet of up to 60 trains for High Speed 2 (HS2) will be officially launched today by Britain’s secretary of state for transport Mr Chris Grayling."

U.S. Communities Hope for Federal Investment in Rail
"Rail industry executives, in particular, have urged the President-elect to include the development of new high-speed railways and commuter tunnels in his plans."

Dallas City Leaders Making Plans for High Speed Rail
"Dallas city leaders Monday got more specific about plans for a high speed rail line linking the City to Houston. The rail line has been on the City of Dallas’ wish list for many years."

Upcoming Events:

2017 MHSRA Annual Meeting

When: Saturday April 1, 2017 - 9:00am to 3:00pm (Check in will start at 8:30am)

Where: Maggiano's Little Italy, 516 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654

Cost: Single Ticket: $60.00
    Student Ticket: $20.00
    *Cost includes lunch

Register Here

Dylan Hayward
Program Manager
Midwest High Speed Rail Association
4765 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
773-334-6758