Author Topic: Hoosier State to end  (Read 41752 times)

ScottFlood

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Hoosier State to end
« on: March 06, 2015, 12:31:07 PM »
INDOT announced today that the Hoosier State will cease to run as of April 1.

Full story here:
http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=69675

The deal-breaker appeared to be an FRA rule that state government become a de facto railroad.

I doubt this is really final. My hunch is that's it's a negotiating tactic on Indiana's part to see what the folks at Amtrak will do.


« Last Edit: March 06, 2015, 01:22:11 PM by ScottFlood »

indyspy

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Re: Hoosier State to end
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2015, 01:02:07 PM »
And Amtrak's response is, looking for a new place to move the Beech Grove shops too. (Just my thoughts)
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scraphauler

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Re: Hoosier State to end
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2015, 01:47:56 PM »
Key piece from this article

Under new rules that the FRA is testing with Indiana, all states that support passenger rail services would be considered railroad carriers. This burdensome interpretation exposes states to significant increases in cost, paperwork and liability, including:

Liability for the actions of passenger rail providers up to $200 million for each occurrence of injury, death or property damage,
Hiring new staff to monitor plans and programs in compliance with federal rules, and
Interpretation that state employees are rail employees, subject to retirement and employer liability rules and limits.

Reread that - NEW RULES THAT THE FRA IS TESTING WITH INDIANA.  The FRA unsuccessfully tried something similar with NCDOT a number of years ago but backed off.  This time they are not backing off.  The implications of this are much bigger than the piddly 4 day a week Hoosier State.  This could kill any number of state supported trains nationwide if the state is not willing to go along with the FRA's new rules.   

The way I read this, even if Indiana excluded Iowa Pacific and dealt solely with Amtrak, the FRA would still impose these rules.   Talk about regulations gone awry. 
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cattdaddy1951

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Re: Hoosier State to end
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2015, 01:52:26 PM »
Wasn't part of the reason to establish the Hoosier State in the first place to ferry cars back and forth to Beech Grove? Amtrak was running bad order consists as needed, so they will likely continue. I don't see them shutting down Beech Gove. Too expensive to startup someplace else.

trainmaster53

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Re: Hoosier State to end
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2015, 02:23:39 PM »
A sad day for the Hoosiers that depend on that train.

indyspy

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Re: Hoosier State to end
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2015, 02:36:40 PM »
Before the Hoosier came back, they tacked them onto the Cardinal or ran shuttle trains.

It's important that Amtrak itself in 1998 restarted the Hoosier State. Not the state, not the federal government.

Amtrak did simply because they needed a stable way to get cars too and from the grove. The Cardinal was getting hit bad timekeeping wise adding and removing the deadheads. SOP was to cut the shuttle engine and the dead heads in between the Cardinal's power and the Cardinal's consist.

They ran some deadhead shuttle trains, but those cost just as much as running the Hoosier State, and you don't get the revenue to defray costs. So Amtrak added a couple coaches.

I think that deadheads are handled four days a week, two southbounds, and two northbounds. So if Amtrak is going to have to run four deadheads a week.

Whoever came up with this in Congress who came up with this should have thier brain removed for not giving the Hoosier State an exemption considering it's service to the entire Amtrak system. Why should Indiana have to pay for a train that is needed to service the entire system that probably will be running anyway without coaches.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2015, 03:12:34 PM by indyspy »
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doublestacks

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Re: Hoosier State to end
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2015, 03:46:34 PM »
These people at indot are about worthless. And the FRA needs to stop comin up with this burdensome crap. Thats all it is, some of the rules they come up with are not needed. They worry too much about dumb ****.

200 million per occurance? Are you kidding me? The state needs to tell them to back down, this is nothing more then federal over reach. What could cause thousands of dollars and damage, and what can are two different things. They need to fire some people since they have all this time to dream up such nonsense.
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mononradio

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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2015, 04:04:46 PM »
The same problem still exists today with the Cardinal's poor timekeeping as did back in the day.  It is a very unreliable train, as recently noted with all of the cancellations due to the oil train derailment in West Virginia.

Does anyone know the economics of shipping Amtrak equipment either on CSX freight trains or running special "non-revenue" moves?  I am assuming shipping on freight would tear up equipment and probably take 2-3 weeks to get to and from Chicago.  "Special trains" would have to be negotiated with CSX the way private car charters are now, I suppose, and would only happen if CSX agreed to it, which they normally won't.  The only move I can think of is the "New River fall foliage Train" in West Virginia.  Similar plans to run to and from the Greenbrier Hotel I believe were killed because CSX vetoed the idea.

So, does Amtrak run "special trains" in Hoosier timeslots?

My opinion is that the Hoosier State never should have been lumped in with "state funding" trains in the first place.  But now that it has been, I agree with the earlier post that it sets a bad precedent, and gives more states that were wishy-washy about public transit in the first place another easy out.

When Amtrak shifted a lot of its work from Beech Grove to Brighton Park a few years ago I felt like the handwriting was on the wall.  That was for another reason, mainly due to problems between Amtrak and the city of Beech Grove.  But the same proposition exists today...with a downsized Amtrak, the Beech Grove shop is likely one of the first casualties for Indiana.

Chessieguy42

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Re: Hoosier State to end
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2015, 05:14:35 PM »


 this is nothing more then federal over reach.
There is a lot of that nowadays.

Long live the Chessie.

trainmaster53

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Re: Hoosier State to end
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2015, 06:45:19 PM »
Get Rid of all the Clowns in Indianapolis at the State Office Building and Start over New.

scraphauler

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Re: Hoosier State to end
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2015, 08:46:14 PM »
These people at indot are about worthless. And the FRA needs to stop comin up with this burdensome crap.

This is not INDOT.  This is the feds.   I have got to know some of the INDOT Rail folks over the past year from being involved in a logistics committee and a trade organization, and I can assure you they've put a lot of time and effort into saving and improving the Hoosier State.  There may be some of our move conservative elected officials happy with this turn of events, but nothing I've seen leads me to believe that INDOT is happy about seeing their hard work circle the drain.

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Amtk427

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Re: Hoosier State to end
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2015, 10:43:03 PM »
Making the Cardinal daily once the new equipment arrives is still possible. If Amtrak is that worried about how losing the Hoosier State will effect Beech Grove,  then they need to start taking a hard look at the possibility.  I doubt it will happen, and not the perfect solution.  But it would solve a lot of problems.

xgap

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Re: Hoosier State to end
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2015, 01:50:36 AM »
Are we sure ?
Indiana could just pay Amtrak and the train continues to run.
It's when the State starts to contract service they get dinged by the FRA.


No matter I guess,  Done.

scraphauler

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Re: Hoosier State to end
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2015, 03:15:50 PM »
Are we sure ?
Indiana could just pay Amtrak and the train continues to run.
It's when the State starts to contract service they get dinged by the FRA.


Amtrak says Indiana can keep paying. INDOT says they can't due to FRA stance.  FRA thus far fairly silent but seems to be backing INDOT stance .  So do we have a power hungry regulatory agency using Indiana to establish a precedence they will use to build their regulatory reach and go after other state and locally funded operations?  Or is this a good old fashioned shake down.  Tony Soprano (Amtrak) saying you will buy from us, at our price, with no complaint, or Pauly Walnuts (the FRA) is going to break you knee caps.

Either way, ramifications are much greater than just the Hoosier State. 
The opinions, views, and incoherent ramblings presented here do not necessarily represent the view point of any company I work for or own,  any logical thinking being, or even me.

CSX_CO

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Re: Hoosier State to end
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2015, 04:54:20 PM »
Amtrak says Indiana can keep paying. INDOT says they can't due to FRA stance.  FRA thus far fairly silent but seems to be backing INDOT stance .  So do we have a power hungry regulatory agency using Indiana to establish a precedence they will use to build their regulatory reach and go after other state and locally funded operations?  Or is this a good old fashioned shake down.  Tony Soprano (Amtrak) saying you will buy from us, at our price, with no complaint, or Pauly Walnuts (the FRA) is going to break you knee caps.

Either way, ramifications are much greater than just the Hoosier State.

I wondered if this wasn't a tactic by the FRA to keep Amtrak jobs "in house" so to speak.  Your post echos my sentiments exactly.

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indyspy

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Re: Hoosier State to end
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2015, 05:00:28 PM »
I hate to bring politics in here.... but I have to wonder if this isn't part an larger overall power grab by the federal agencies. I wont go into detail, but I am sure we all know what is going on with the BATFE right now. Same thing with the EPA. Same thing with the FCC.

It seems to be a full court press by the federal alphabet agencies.......

Still It does more look like the FRA is doing this to help Amtrak put the kibosh on private operators. Been doing that a lot lately. They put the hurt on the Greenbrier thing, and the Ski Train.
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ckpcpqq

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Re: Hoosier State to end
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2015, 11:28:54 AM »
Amtrak says Indiana can keep paying. INDOT says they can't due to FRA stance.  FRA thus far fairly silent but seems to be backing INDOT stance .  So do we have a power hungry regulatory agency using Indiana to establish a precedence they will use to build their regulatory reach and go after other state and locally funded operations?  Or is this a good old fashioned shake down.  Tony Soprano (Amtrak) saying you will buy from us, at our price, with no complaint, or Pauly Walnuts (the FRA) is going to break you knee caps.

Either way, ramifications are much greater than just the Hoosier State.

Yes, that's right.  Just think of the corridor trains in Illinois, Michigan, Oklahoma, New York, etc.  The villain of this piece is not INDOT (a pleasant surprise) nor Amtrak really.  It's the green eyeshade people at the FRA with the mystifying rules they're trying (repeat, trying) to impose. 

But I remain optimistic.  The Obama administration in general--and the transportation secretary in particular--are strong advocates of passenger rail.  One way or another, I don't think they're going to let the FRA get away with this; the stakes are too high.  It's likely there will be some kind of eleventh hour arrangement that preserves not just the Hoosier State but all Amtrak trains that travel less than 750 miles.

midland sub

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Re: Hoosier State to end
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2015, 11:45:52 AM »
What's the ridership numbers of the Hoosier State? I'm too lazy to search or click back through the discussion if it's there, but not to lazy to type of a response.  :P


ckpcpqq

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Re: Hoosier State to end
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2015, 12:33:54 PM »
What's the ridership numbers of the Hoosier State? I'm too lazy to search or click back through the discussion if it's there, but not to lazy to type of a response.  :P

Go here and scroll down (way, way down):

http://www.narprail.org/uploads/3/0/4/0/30401991/trains.pdf

BourdonBoy

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Re: Hoosier State to end
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2015, 01:54:54 PM »
What's the ridership numbers of the Hoosier State?

Here are the reports for the Hoosier State and the Cardinal.