Author Topic: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013  (Read 5948 times)

indrr

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Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« on: September 21, 2012, 08:29:16 AM »
Hoosier State tentatively scheduled to end October 1, 2013. This isn't the first time the HS has been on the chopping block.

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http://www.jconline.com/article/20120920/NEWS02/309200038/amtrak-lafayette-chicago?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE&gcheck=1&nclick_check=1

Amtrak service from Lafayette to Chicago may be reduced
Sep. 20

Lafayette may lose daily passenger railroad service next year.
 
Amtrak confirms plans to end the Hoosier State route, effective Oct. 1, 2013.
 
“It is very likely there could no longer be daily service in Lafayette,” said Marc Magliari with the Amtrak media relations office in Chicago.
 
Nearly 27,000 people got on and off the Hoosier State and the Cardinal passenger trains in Lafayette last year.
 
The Cardinal would continue to serve Lafayette three mornings and three nights a week on its route between Chicago and New York.
 
Residents would lose four days and four nights of rail service when the Hoosier State stops in Lafayette during its run between Indianapolis and Chicago.
 
“It’s vital,” said Joe Krause, a community volunteer who helps passengers on and off the trains stopping in Lafayette. “The people who ride the train to Chicago or Indianapolis have no other means of travel.”
 
Funding for the Hoosier State is the heart of the dispute between Amtrak, state administrators and the Indiana Department of Transportation.
 
Amtrak maintains that states are responsible for fully funding routes shorter than 750 miles and that the funding methodology was established by Congress in 2008.
 
Indiana leaders disagree.
 
“Our understanding is that the methodology was a discussion and was not a commitment to subsidize the Hoosier State,” said Will Wingfield, INDOT spokesman.
 
“There was no money provided along with the federal mandate. It is still not entirely known what Amtrak is requesting of Indiana.”
 
Magliari said, “Communications with Indiana and other states are in the public record in our 2011 Surface Transportation Board filing, including Section 209’s effect on the Hoosier State service and the funding methodology.”
 
In March, the federal Surface Transportation Board rendered a decision about the cost methodology and stated, “Affected states, other than Indiana, have adopted the methodology.”
 
The board’s report also stated, “According to Amtrak, Indiana declined to accept the consensus methodology but did not provide a reason for its decision or offer an alternative. Rather, in an email sent to Amtrak on November 17, 2011, the Indiana Department of Transportation ... stated that the governor’s office and INDOT ‘have decided to not sign [Amtrak’s] request’ to accept the proposed methodology.”
 
“The state doesn’t pay anything until it has an invoice,” Wingfield said. “The amount is still not known.”
 
The two routes combined allow passengers to ride to Chicago in the morning and return the same night.
 
“On Saturday the passengers are going shopping in Chicago, taking their daughters to the American Girl store, going to see the Cubs, the Bears, going home to Dyer or Gary,” Krause said.
 
“One man commutes to work in Chicago every Monday morning and returns home to Lafayette on Friday night. More than 100 people board on the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving.”
 
'A step backwards'
 
The trains are more than a convenience for passengers. Rail service is an economic development tool for Lafayette and West Lafayette.
 
“An additional transportation option for our community has a positive impact,” Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski said.
 
“Access to transportation and to major metropolitan areas is a strong consideration for businesses considering locating here,” West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said. “West Lafayette’s international population relies on passenger rail service to and from transportation hubs in Chicago.”
 
Dennis said he needs more information to understand the logic behind the potential loss of the Hoosier State.
 
Roswarski said, “I hate to see us take a step backwards when we need to work toward high-speed rail service and connectivity with other states. Many of our highways are at capacity, and we need to look at ways to expand transportation of goods and services.”
 
Roswarski and state Reps. Randy Truitt and Sheila Klinker said they expect the community will take a unified message to state leaders.
 
“Time is of the essence,” Truitt said. “We need to communicate quickly with INDOT before it prioritizes its federal funds.”
 
“We’re going to have to get busy and call our congressmen. This is not a good thing. It is very important to continue passenger rail service,” Klinker said.
 
A statement of support for rail service already is included in the Tippecanoe County transportation plan.
 
“Daily Amtrak passenger rail service greatly benefits the community, and local support needs to continue,” said Sallie Fahey, Tippecanoe County Area Plan Commission executive director.
 
Krause, a former West Lafayette councilman and retired high school teacher, said, “I’ve got my next project. We need to get a critical mass of people writing letters and fighting against the anti-train, pro-auto attitude of INDOT and the executive branch.”
Nathan Bilger
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torgy1962

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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2012, 02:23:47 PM »
What are the typical consists for the Hoosier State & Cardinal?

shane_man15

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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2012, 02:50:23 PM »
What are the typical consists for the Hoosier State & Cardinal?
The Hoosier state: Engine, and two coaches, but that changed when CN needed the train longer for the circuitry, so there's usually a few extra coaches added on.

Cardinal: Engine, Heritage fleet baggage car, single Viewliner sleeping car, three Amfleet II long-distance coaches, and single diner-lounge car. From Chicago to Indy, it tags on the Hoosier State coaches (two coaches) on the rear and cuts them off at Indy.
Shane Smiley (shane_man15)

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ckpcpqq

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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2012, 11:55:18 AM »
I guess it's possible but by no means probable that Indiana might come up with some money for the Hoosier State.  Given the present political makeup of the legislature and the likely election of an extremely conservative governor, there's very little support for intercity passenger rail.

The elimination of the HS would be the last chapter in the steady deterioration of service.  First, the abandonment of SC&S forced a move to a more circuitous route that crawls thru UP's Yard Center and across Dolton Jct, one of the busiest interlockings anywhere.  Then CSX's speed restriction over jointed rail just made things worse.  When the HS started up, the trip between Lafayette and Chicago took roughly 2.5 hours--about what it would take you to drive it.  Now it's scheduled at 3 hours and 15 minutes.  The bus takes much less time and is cheaper to boot.   

CSX_CO

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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2012, 12:48:41 PM »
Then CSX's speed restriction over jointed rail just made things worse. 

Its not the jointed rail, its just the entire Monon Subdivision in General.  CSX didn't want to maintain it to 80 mph Class standards, and so AMTRAK runs 60 and the freights run 40.  Cost savings move on CSX's part.  AMTRAK takes a hit, but the freight isn't that adversely affected.  Still able to make it from Indy to Chicago in under 12 hrs on Q642/643.

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shane_man15

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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2012, 01:21:37 PM »
Still able to make it from Indy to Chicago in under 12 hrs on Q642/643.

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Not to stray too far off-topic, but how long does it take? 10+ hours? 6 hours?
Shane Smiley (shane_man15)

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IndyHog

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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2012, 01:30:07 PM »
The sad reality is that there is no political will to support this train in Indiana.  Indiana is only interested in building new highways ( US 31, I-69 Extension, Louisville Bridge etc and the constant construction on I-465 and I-65).
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CSX_CO

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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 01:38:33 PM »
Not to stray too far off-topic, but how long does it take? 10+ hours? 6 hours?

Depends on if there is work to be done in Lafayette.  They're on duty at 1800 and there have been times when they're into Avon by 0200.  Most of the time they seem to be making it between 0200 and 0400 if they don't get hosed making a big pickup at Lafayette.  Don't really follow the NB move, but I think they average 10 to 11 hrs on duty.

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torgy1962

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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 02:07:25 PM »
The sad reality is that there is no political will to support this train in Indiana.  Indiana is only interested in building new highways ( US 31, I-69 Extension, Louisville Bridge etc and the constant construction on I-465 and I-65).

Quite frankly, how many Indiana residents know that they can take the train to Chicago or NY? (In the previous sentence, you can probably replace Indiana with most any Amtrak-served state!)

shane_man15

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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 02:10:14 PM »
Depends on if there is work to be done in Lafayette.  They're on duty at 1800 and there have been times when they're into Avon by 0200.  Most of the time they seem to be making it between 0200 and 0400 if they don't get hosed making a big pickup at Lafayette.  Don't really follow the NB move, but I think they average 10 to 11 hrs on duty.

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Why can't the J726 handle that? Or is there something more I'm not aware of? Seems to me like all J726 is now is a transfer between Avon and Lafayette with LAF/NS cars, and the last time I ever saw a J726 after the Indy/Lafayette pool deletion, it was a decent sized train.
Shane Smiley (shane_man15)

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torgy1962

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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 02:16:14 PM »
Do the Cardinal and Hoosier State also carry cars for repair at Beech Grove?

IndyKing

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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2012, 05:29:13 PM »
Do the Cardinal and Hoosier State also carry cars for repair at Beech Grove?

Yes, I believe they do when needed.
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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2012, 05:29:58 PM »
Do the Cardinal and Hoosier State also carry cars for repair at Beech Grove?


The Hoosier State does it with a few exceptions. Sometimes they run "hospital trains", but that's rare.
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torgy1962

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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2012, 06:33:24 PM »

The Hoosier State does it with a few exceptions. Sometimes they run "hospital trains", but that's rare.

Once and a while, there's a damaged car or locomotive in the consist of the westbound Lake Shore here in Buffalo. I've always assumed they were headed for Beech Grove, and just wondered how they got there. I assume that CSX picks up the "patients" near Union Station, and then takes them to the shop?
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 06:50:54 PM by torgy1962 »

510Russ

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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2012, 07:44:08 PM »
Quote
The sad reality is that there is no political will to support this train in Indiana.  Indiana is only interested in building new highways ( US 31, I-69 Extension, Louisville Bridge etc and the constant construction on I-465 and I-65).

I think that's tied up in our state history.  Once, Indiana tied, if not led, Detroit in the number of automobile companies.  Many Hoosiers made their living at various businesses that supported the auto industry (e.g. Delco, Guide).  To support non-automotive transportation is to "cut off your nose to spite your face," that is, to be disloyal to your own livelihood. 

There used to be a town up north (I think it was Huntington) that had turned the main street downtown into a pedestrian mall.  Once when I was visiting there, a shop keeper told me they were going to tear it out and make it back into a street.  "We love our cars," he explained, "and we want to drive right up to the store we're going to visit and walk right in.  We're not going to park in a parking lot and walk down a mall to get there."

oat324

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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2012, 07:58:47 PM »
It would have been smart to get the train to Louisville again if the Louisville and Indiana gets upgraded with CSX track rights for their intermodel trains. Heck, even a train to Dayton and Columbus would've been nice. I remember when the Three Rivers was coming off in 2005 and some folks wrote to politicians in Indiana to save the train. I think it was Mitch Daniels that responded that Amtrak was "archaic" and no one rides that anymore. Of course, he apologized after realizing that Beach Grove was in the state.LOL
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 10:07:06 PM by oat324 »

torgy1962

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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2012, 08:05:36 PM »
There used to be a town up north (I think it was Huntington) that had turned the main street downtown into a pedestrian mall.  Once when I was visiting there, a shop keeper told me they were going to tear it out and make it back into a street.  "We love our cars," he explained, "and we want to drive right up to the store we're going to visit and walk right in.  We're not going to park in a parking lot and walk down a mall to get there."

Same thing here in Buffalo, where plans are to have Main Street light railsharing the ROW with car traffic, after about 30 years.

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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2012, 09:37:23 PM »
I assume that CSX picks up the "patients" near Union Station, and then takes them to the shop?

Generally they ride the Hoosier, which ties up in Beech Grove shop complex.  Train discharges passengers then heads east out of Union Station, and eastbound down the Shelbyville Secondary to the shop complex.  On the occasion bad orders are dropped by the Cardinal, Amtrak can run a "yard engine" out of Beech Grove to IUS and back - CSXT does not handle any of the cars in freight service unless its a heavy wreck on a flat.
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CSX_CO

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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2012, 01:20:49 PM »
Why can't the J726 handle that? Or is there something more I'm not aware of? Seems to me like all J726 is now is a transfer between Avon and Lafayette with LAF/NS cars, and the last time I ever saw a J726 after the Indy/Lafayette pool deletion, it was a decent sized train.

That's all that J726 ever was, carried cars from Avon to Lafayette (and Crawfordsville).  The old AV22 basically.  Not sure why they make Q643 pick up cars at Lafayette now.  J726 usually carries a pair of Dash-8's or better to help with the tonnage, and Lafayette sends it back with 50 and 60 cars.  I don't know if they are still doing it, but Q642 was picking up at Lafayette in the past.  Rather than having the Y jobs at Lafayette have to switch thouse out, just send those 5 or 6 cars a day to Avon, and we'll send them north on Q642 to save them having to do any LOR work.  Lessen the switching at Lafayette, and keep Q642 from having to stop.

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torgy1962

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Re: Hoosier State to be eliminated in 2013
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2012, 03:39:25 PM »
CSXT does not handle any of the cars in freight service unless its a heavy wreck on a flat.

Thanks. As many times as I've been to Indy, I'm still not completely familiar with the traffic patterns.