Happening Now

Hoosier State Transitions Back to Amtrak Equipment

January 30, 2017

The Indiana Department of Transportation announced today that, beginning March 1st, the Hoosier State (train nos. 850 and 851) will transition back to utilizing Amtrak equipment:

"The Hoosier State passenger train, which operates four days per week between Indianapolis and Chicago, will transition to railcars, locomotives and on-board services supplied by Amtrak beginning Wednesday, March 1. No action is required from ticketed passengers as Amtrak will continue to provide ticketing and reservations.

"The Hoosier State operates between Indianapolis and Chicago with intermediate stops in Crawfordsville, Dyer, Lafayette and Rensselaer. Train 851 runs north on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and Train 850 runs south on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings. The other days each week these communities are served by the Amtrak Cardinal train, which operates between New York City and Chicago."

The decision brings an end to an exciting experiment that saw the train run as a joint partnership between Iowa Pacific Holdings; INDOT; Amtrak; and the cities of Crawfordsville, Lafayette, and Rensselaer. Iowa Pacific hoped to drive ridership increases by providing enhanced passenger amenities, such as full-service dining and dome cars. (Iowa Pacific relied on Amtrak crews to operate the train, utilizing Amtrak's experience and national structure to meet federal safety and insurance requirements.)

INDOT did not immediately provide a reason for the transition back to Amtrak equipment. In its statement, the agency did say it was planning on providing enhanced on-board amenities, including Wi-Fi and business class seating.