Author Topic: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?  (Read 14676 times)

Wema

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Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« on: January 10, 2019, 07:25:46 PM »
https://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2019/01/10/indiana-budget-gov-holcomb-boosts-dcs-holds-education-steady-cuts-amtrak/2530338002/

"Amtrak funding cut

The budget cuts a $3 million annual subsidy for the Hoosier State Train.

If the budget cut is approved, state money for the train would run out June 30. Officials from the Indiana Department of Transportation say they would work with Amtrak to schedule an ending date for the service.

Micah Vincent, director of the state Office of Management and Budget, said ridership is not high enough and is not growing quickly enough to justify the subsidy.

The future of the train has been unclear for years due to its many challenges, including slow speeds and infrequency. In 2017, Amtrak took over operation of the train from Iowa Pacific Holdings, which wanted a larger subsidy.

The train is funded by mostly by INDOT, with another $500,000 or so from Lafayette, West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, Crawfordsville and Rensselaer.

The service could be saved if lawmakers have the will to do it.

House and Senate Republican leaders said they planned to talk over whether to continue funding the train as the session progresses. "

IndyHog

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2019, 09:46:08 PM »
Amtrak charges the state too much. The train is a glorified hospital train which runs mainly for Amtrak's benefit to shuttle cars and engines to and from Beech Grove.
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CSX_CO

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2019, 10:08:21 PM »
Amtrak charges the state too much. The train is a glorified hospital train which runs mainly for Amtrak's benefit to shuttle cars and engines to and from Beech Grove.

Here is the annual threat to cut funding, and/or AMTRAK threatening to cut the train.

Hopefully they can reach a middle ground on funding.  It behooves AMTRAK to keep the train, and behooves the towns on the route to keep it.

crblue

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2019, 12:16:15 PM »
I heard interviews with the Crawfordsville and Lafayette mayors this morning. They both think the train is a benefit to their towns and their citizens, but they feel they are already paying their fair share to maintain the train. But, Amtrak claims that ridership is down.

It would be interesting to see the actual costs and revenue generated for this train and compare the net cost to what the state and the on-line towns are paying. I know that Amtrak expects the states to fund these short-distance trains, but if Amtrak is getting a free hospital move out of the deal, I don't think that's proper.

An article in a recent issue of Trains indicates that Amtrak's accounting and apportionment of costs to individual trains is very convoluted. We'll probably never know the real story. But, if Amtrak cuts the train and has to pay the full price for once-a-week or twice-a-week non-revenue hospital trains, maybe Amtrak will have a better understanding of the true costs.


IndyHog

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2019, 12:42:26 PM »
Seems like I remember Amtrak offered IP about $3000 a month to take the deadhead cars, which IP declined. If the Hoosier State does disappear Amtrak will simply add the deadhead cars to the Cardinal creating additional delay in Indy. I would imagine an occasional hospital train to take cars from Chi-Ind.
   Time for the Cardinal to go daily....
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trainmaster53

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2019, 12:57:19 PM »
I think that several years ago there was talk about making the Cardinal a Daily Train, But it would continue West to St Louis or KC. The Hoosier State would then become a Daily Train to Chicago. They would then meet at Union Station for Passengers to Transfer to go Chicago or the Southbound would meet for passengers to go on East on the Cardinal. As we all know that never happened. So we send them by Bus to Chicago instead.

mononradio

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Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2019, 01:31:54 PM »
It did not help that St. Joseph's College went belly up.
There were fairly significant college kid boardings to/from Rensselaer that have gone bye-bye forever.

SimonTek

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2019, 02:14:06 PM »
I always want to take the train, but it takes 5 hours for a 2.5 hour drive. It gets back to Indy at midnight, and such. When I look at the ridership numbers of other states, I also see their trains are much more frequent and on time. I would bet that has a lot to do with the ridership numbers.

mononradio

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Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2019, 02:20:30 PM »
You got that right!
Sometimes closer to 1-2AM arrival, although it is better now than it used to be.
Also fairly creepy to be in Indianapolis at that time of the morning.

trainmaster53

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2019, 03:48:10 PM »
I work at the Dome and Convention Center a lot and I would Say that most of the Time that I see Either the Cardinal or Hoosier State it is on time getting in. You have to remember that Amtrak has 4 or 5 Railroads that they have to Travel on when leaving Chicago or Going to Chicago. That does no help either. PC took out a Lot of the Direct Lines to Chicago when they took everything over.

Sharky1

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2019, 05:16:32 PM »
Dome?

Cardinal is almost never on time going to Chicago. From Chicago is much better.
There a fine line between a 'hobby' and a 'mental illness'.

NS7112

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2019, 07:30:04 PM »
I always want to take the train, but it takes 5 hours for a 2.5 hour drive. It gets back to Indy at midnight, and such. When I look at the ridership numbers of other states, I also see their trains are much more frequent and on time. I would bet that has a lot to do with the ridership numbers.

Everyone I know would love to take the train to Chicago...my family included but as you state the arrival and departure times suck for families with young kids. If Amtrash REALLY cared about improving rider #s theyd adjust but same old same old. Nothing has changed!!

Rick

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2019, 08:11:50 PM »
Everyone I know would love to take the train to Chicago...my family included but as you state the arrival and departure times suck for families with young kids. If Amtrash REALLY cared about improving rider #s theyd adjust but same old same old. Nothing has changed!!
From Indy north the track speed is slow and even slower once on foreign rails in Chicago.  They wont hold up Amtrak unless its an emergency but the track speed is what kills them into Chicago and they are on it for a while. 

Id have to look at the timetable but I believe Amtrak that run on the ns mains can run 50 up until 518 which is just a couple miles east of the Amtrak station.  They arent running that on any foreign lines that Im aware of. The BRC is only 25mph. 


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Kim_Heusel

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2019, 10:15:50 PM »
Dome?

Cardinal is almost never on time going to Chicago. From Chicago is much better.

You're right. The only time it arrived right on time this week was last Sunday. The other days? It was 12 minutes early on Monday, 27 early on Tuesday, 17 early on Wednesday, 12 early on Thursday, and 15 early today. Of course, that's only one week. To be fair, I didn't check times from Chicago for the week.

Kim Heusel

Sharky1

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2019, 11:34:35 PM »
Sounds like your speaking of The Hoosier State. It originates at Indy so it is generally always departs on time Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Monday, Thursday and Saturday is the Cardinal which was what I was referring to. It arrives in Indy after  951 miles of running and delays have been a problem as they tend to add up. It has been a problem but if what you say is true Amtrak and CSX must have got things working better.
There a fine line between a 'hobby' and a 'mental illness'.

1976

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2019, 06:29:11 AM »
Sounds like your speaking of The Hoosier State. It originates at Indy so it is generally always departs on time Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Monday, Thursday and Saturday is the Cardinal which was what I was referring to. It arrives in Indy after  951 miles of running and delays have been a problem as they tend to add up. It has been a problem but if what you say is true Amtrak and CSX must have got things working better.
When has the Cardinal been so late into Indianapolis recently that it departs toward Chicago late?

Kim_Heusel

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2019, 08:09:14 AM »
Sounds like your speaking of The Hoosier State. It originates at Indy so it is generally always departs on time Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Monday, Thursday and Saturday is the Cardinal which was what I was referring to. It arrives in Indy after  951 miles of running and delays have been a problem as they tend to add up. It has been a problem but if what you say is true Amtrak and CSX must have got things working better.

The times I showed included both the Cardinal and the Hoosier State. Today's Cardinal left Indianapolis on time. Arrived in Lafayette 1 minute late. What I showed is only a short time period, so results can vary day-to-day and week-to-week, but this week has been good.

Kim Heusel

IndyHog

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2019, 10:01:20 AM »
If your interested in saving the Hoosier State this link to the Midwest High Speed Rail Association is a petition to keep the Hoosier State running, Thank You


https://www.midwesthsr.org/tell-governor-holcomb-invest-trains
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 10:57:05 AM by IndyHog »
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trainmaster53

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2019, 10:47:42 AM »
Cardinal Train 51 was 9 minutes late out of Dyer Indiana. Was 19 Minutes late out of Connersville and Departed Indy on Time.

Kim_Heusel

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Re: Amtrak Hoosier State Funding on the chopping block?
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2019, 01:16:58 PM »
Cardinal Train 51 was 9 minutes late out of Dyer Indiana. Was 19 Minutes late out of Connersville and Departed Indy on Time.

Arrived in Chicago today 7 minutes early (thanks to padding between Dyer and CUS).

Kim Heusel