Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, Tadman, mtuandrew

njt/mnrrbuff
Posts: 3615
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:33 pm

Re: Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

Post by njt/mnrrbuff »

Yes, Indiana and Ohio are the most forgotten states in terms of being a part of the Amtrak network. In Ohio, it’s not only the fact that there are a few long distance trains, but the majority of them stop at stations during the middle of the night. Northwestern Indiana sees the most Amtrak service out of the rest of that state but still, the service isn’t that frequent. You have few Wolverine trains stopping in Michigan City-two in each direction. At Hammond-Whiting, only one pair of Wolverines stop in each direction.

It’s good that there will be a new bus service running between Chicago and Indianapolis and hopefully it will make the same stops that the Hoosier State made and the trip will be faster than the train. For those who still want to continue to travel by train between Indianapolis and Chicago, in between, and vice versus, at least the Cardinal still runs. Maybe eventually, Amtrak will start running the Cardinal daily. Before that happens, probably more equipment would need to be available. In addition, the ride would have to be faster between Dyer and Chicago.

Jeff Smith
Site Admin
Posts: 8634
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: If it's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium

Re: Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

Post by Jeff Smith »

Amtrak is not going to run the Cardinal daily without state support. But we should leave that for the Cardinal topic (cough cough). Has anyone thought about an alternative operator (not IP 🤪) like Keolis? There’s precedent; see Springfield line.
Next stop, Willoughby
~el Jefe ("Jeff Smith Rules") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

Gilbert B Norman
Posts: 14291
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:52 am
Location: Clarendon Hills, IL (BNSF Chicago Sub; MP 18.71)

Re: Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

Post by Gilbert B Norman »

Here is a Hoosier State article I do not think has been posted at the topic:

https://www.jconline.com/story/news/201 ... 508495001/

It appears Lafayette will have greater adverse effect from the discontinuation than will Indianapolis. The schedule from Lafayette is somewhat more convenient. When a few years ago, I contemplated a joyride on the Ellis varietal, It would have been to Lafayette. If a crew from Chicago cannot have a lawful rest at IND, I sure as the devil wouldn't as a paying passenger.

Jeff Smith
Site Admin
Posts: 8634
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: If it's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium

Re: Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

Post by Jeff Smith »

...
For now, with no formal farewells announced, the conversation turns to a different question: How long would it take to put a Hoosier State replacement back on the rails?

“Some folks, at this point, are really thinking about, How do we do this better?” said Arvid Olson, head of Greater Lafayette Commerce’s transportation committee. “I believe we’ll see the service recreated in one, two or, at the max, three years. … Will it be the same Hoosier State? I don’t think it will. It can’t be.”
...
Next stop, Willoughby
~el Jefe ("Jeff Smith Rules") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

gokeefe
Posts: 12326
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:28 pm
Location: Winthrop, Maine

Re: Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

Post by gokeefe »

Part of the PRIIA funding formula was a calculated allocation of capital costs to support the fleet of rolling stock and its eventual replacement. I would guess cyclical refurbishment was included as well (could be how the Amfleet refresh was funded ...).

These costs had not been previously funded at all and in effect constituted depletion (with real future costs) of Amtrak's assets. In many ways this policy was a legacy inherited from Penn Central which carried over into the 403(b) program at Amtrak's inception.

The other aspect of the Hoosier State which is reminiscent of PC is the single frequency on a relatively short distance corridor at anemic average speeds. The consequence is low ridership and equally low political support for the route.

What is happening with the Hoosier State today is the final closing of a long chapter of unsustainable operations by Amtrak with state partners. Although tragic for Indiana it is a major step forward at Amtrak and will set a strong policy precedent against future losses.
gokeefe

mtuandrew
Posts: 6329
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:59 am
Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

Re: Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

Post by mtuandrew »

At a future date, Amtrak may in fact give way to a combined NICTD/South Shore Freight operation. That depends on the South Lake Extension of course, and on adding a CSX connection at the Dyer end, but takes Amtrak out of the driver’s seat. If terminated at Millennium Station rather than Union Station and at somewhere other than Indianapolis Union Station, and if negotiated directly with CSX, it would entirely remove Amtrak from the equation. Something tells me Amtrak wouldn’t fuss in private over not having to cooperate with the Indiana state government, though they might publicly raise a stink.

I don’t prefer Amtrak being excluded from an interstate route, mind, but it would cheapen things for the state.

Gilbert B Norman
Posts: 14291
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:52 am
Location: Clarendon Hills, IL (BNSF Chicago Sub; MP 18.71)

Re: Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

Post by Gilbert B Norman »

Train Status reports that 850(30) was "on its way". OT @545P.

First train-off since Sep '05 when "Sunset East" was "suspended".

User avatar
BandA
Posts: 2926
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:47 am

Re: Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

Post by BandA »

Jeff Smith wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:16 am
Amtrak is not going to run the Cardinal daily without state support. But we should leave that for the Cardinal topic (cough cough). Has anyone thought about an alternative operator (not IP 🤪) like Keolis? There’s precedent; see Springfield line.
The Springfield Line is owned by Amtrak, so ironically they can't really object to CTdot bringing in another operator. CSX can Just Say No to anybody other than Amtrak.

Long term, if a state is going to spend tens of millions to billions in capital improvements they should have some sort of ownership stake.

Why not IP? We know they don't get along with Amtrak. And they should have had a full protect set available, which I don't think IP had on this route iirc. How much did Amtrak charge them for crew and ticketing services?

justalurker66
Posts: 2347
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:20 pm

Re: Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

Post by justalurker66 »

The final northbound was:
Engine 160
Superliner 32079
Baggage
Four coaches
Two PVs.
(The rounded end of the Frank Thompson was at the end of the train with a Hoosier State sign.)

The final southbound was:
Engine 71
Three coaches
(no PVs).

I believe the first two northbound cars were coming back from the hospital. The conductor was in the vestibule of the first coach and I believe that coach was on the southbound.

Tadman
Posts: 9830
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:21 am

Re: Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

Post by Tadman »

A lot of dramatic themes here, mostly unfounded.

1. We've looked at the math before, and it doesn't add up. $3m for one dog of a train per day versus $12m for the entire NICTD (40 trains, 100 miles, double track, catenary) is nuts. That dog doesn't hunt.

2. The "lack of service" dog doesn't hunt, either. Indiana has two mainline LD trains, five corridor trains through a highly populated area, and one dog of an LD still. Indiana also has the above mentioned 100 mile long, double track, electrified, 80mph commuter railroad. Also, we're extending it. Please, tell me what other state like Indiana has something like that?

Indiana is investing big bucks in passenger service. Far bigger bucks than most states on a per-person basis. I'd like to see where it stacks up against the coastal states on a per-person basis.
Dig the new rr.net Instagram account: @railroad_dot_net

mtuandrew
Posts: 6329
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:59 am
Location: the Manassas Gap Independent Line

Re: Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

Post by mtuandrew »

Indiana and Wisconsin share a lot of similarities in re: passenger rail. They both have very populous counties at corners of their states (the three northwest and three southeast counties respectively), and in those areas they invest fairly heavily in passenger rail. Outside of those areas, nothing but LD rail; 2 1/2 daily for Indiana and 1 daily for Wisconsin. (Arguably the Empire Builder provides more net utility to Wisconsin than the Capitol Limited, Lake Shore Limited, and Cardinal jointly provide to Indiana.) There’s large, moderately-populous portions of both states with no passenger service whatsoever. Both have turned away expanded service since the turn of the millennium, and have instead encouraged bus operators to use their (fairly crowded) interstate highways. The main difference is that Indiana has also funded the legacy NICTD system while Wisconsin did not keep either the North Shore or CNW/MILW local service, though I could certainly see Wisconsin resurrecting an in-state diesel service between Kenosha, Milwaukee, and Madison.

(I’m not counting Michigan Service for Indiana, since it only calls on two stations within the state. It does still hit HWI, right?)

Gilbert B Norman
Posts: 14291
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:52 am
Location: Clarendon Hills, IL (BNSF Chicago Sub; MP 18.71)

Re: Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

Post by Gilbert B Norman »

A "blink of the eye" clip of the PV's and drumhead on 851(30JUN):

https://youtu.be/Z19N3lBTgm4

ThirdRail7
Posts: 4163
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:07 pm

Re: Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

Post by ThirdRail7 »

Tadman wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:59 am
A lot of dramatic themes here, mostly unfounded.

1. We've looked at the math before, and it doesn't add up. $3m for one dog of a train per day versus $12m for the entire NICTD (40 trains, 100 miles, double track, catenary) is nuts. That dog doesn't hunt.
A dog of a train that takes over an hour to make it 29 miles to the first stop. :P
I want my road foreman!

Tadman
Posts: 9830
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:21 am

Re: Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

Post by Tadman »

Bingo. I grew up in Indiana, and I have many friends in Indy. Not one of them would consider a schedule like that. They love their cars and wouldn't consider driving downtown (30-40 minutes) to then spend an hour to the first stop when I-65 moves at 80+. The smarter ones stop at East Chicago and grab a NICTD train, some insist on driving. If they do it right mid-day, it's not that bad.
Dig the new rr.net Instagram account: @railroad_dot_net

justalurker66
Posts: 2347
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:20 pm

Re: Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

Post by justalurker66 »

ThirdRail7 wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:36 pm
A dog of a train that takes over an hour to make it 29 miles to the first stop. :P
Listed as 59 minutes southbound (91 minutes northbound thanks to schedule padding).

But yes, it wasn't hard to catch the train in Dyer and at 18th St in Chicago if one was up for a chase.
I did that in both directions on Sunday. Unfortunately it took the train 92 minutes to reach Chicago in the morning. The evening train took 55 minutes and arrived as I pulled in the Dyer parking lot. (Noting that in both cases I watched the train leave, walked to my car and drove to the other station. I saw the southbound when I crossed NS on the Dan Ryan after taking the video at 18th St. It had an Advance Approach at 21st St.)

https://youtu.be/OBbxYZUV4CE

Return to “Amtrak”