Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, Tadman, mtuandrew

Pacific 2-3-1
Posts: 311
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:08 pm

Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by Pacific 2-3-1 »

THE CARDINAL is more spiritual than physical, if train names mean anything.

electricron
Posts: 4757
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:35 pm

Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by electricron »

Tadman wrote:Regardless of above comments about state-specific politics, it bugs me that current administration portends to be a friend of Amtrak and HSR and they haven't changed the rule where corridor states have to fund their trains. Shouldn't it be the other way around?
The rule under discussion wasn't made by an executive order, it was made under legislation passed by Congress. Only Congress can change it.

I would like to add that the present administration had majorities in both houses of Congress during its first two years, at a time a new Transportation bill should have been enacted, so a change could have been made if the present administration had wanted a new Transportation bill. But it wanted a new Health Care bill first, expended much political effort to get it, and was happy to just extend the existing Transportation bill with "stimulus" ARRA funding additions.

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

Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by justalurker66 »

Tadman wrote:There's a fifth option - letting NICTD run this train under contract with leased cars and power. ONR has a fleet of passenger cars becoming surplus as of this week.

Also, worth putting this in perspective - what funding does NICTD get per seat mile? The senator from Noblesville is throwing around nominal numbers and that's just useless.
In 2010 NICTD received $15,292,171 from the state in operating funds (plus $21,730,676 from the state for capital funds). This in a year with 104,373,404 passenger miles. 14.6c per mile subsidized operating funds or 35.5c if capital funds are included? (Note: NICTD also received federal and local funds.)

What the Hoosier State really needs is a direct path between Chicago and Indianapolis. The CN-IC south then enter Lafayette from the west route is interesting but it cuts service to Indiana cities. The proposed route headed north to tie in to the proposed Fort Wayne HSR line changes the cities served. I wouldn't mind seeing a new terrain route but those seem to be reserved for highway projects. It is very difficult to get a new terrain rail route approved (everything seems to have to follow an existing or abandoned line).

electricron
Posts: 4757
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:35 pm

Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by electricron »

My largest concern about the Hoosier State train is its speed, it's much too slow even when it is on time.
From Amtrak timetables, it takes 4 hours and 5 minutes to travel 196 rail miles, averaging 48 mph.
Per Google Maps, you can drive the 183 highway miles in 3 hours and 19 minutes, averaging 55 mph.
Per Yahoo Maps, you can drive the 183 highway miles in 3 hours flat, averaging 61 mph.

Gilbert B Norman
Posts: 14271
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:52 am
Location: Clarendon Hills, IL (BNSF Chicago Sub; MP 18.71)

Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by Gilbert B Norman »

electricron wrote:My largest concern about the Hoosier State train is its speed, it's much too slow even when it is on time.
From Amtrak timetables, it takes 4 hours and 5 minutes to travel 196 rail miles, averaging 48 mph.
It's worse; Ron.

5hr 5min, averaging 38.6mph vice 4hr 5min; there is a time change to be factored.

electricron
Posts: 4757
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:35 pm

Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by electricron »

Gilbert B Norman wrote:
electricron wrote:My largest concern about the Hoosier State train is its speed, it's much too slow even when it is on time.
From Amtrak timetables, it takes 4 hours and 5 minutes to travel 196 rail miles, averaging 48 mph.
It's worse; Ron.

5hr 5min, averaging 38.6mph vice 4hr 5min; there is a time change to be factored.
Oops! I completely overlooked the time change. But the average highway speeds I listed earlier don't drop because the driving times listed by Google and Yahoo factored the time zone change in.

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

Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by justalurker66 »

1h 13 to Dyer from Chicago or 1h 38 to Chicago from Dyer. 29 miles.
(There always seems to be some arrival padding on Amtrak schedules.)

Amtrak needs a better route.

Station Aficionado
Posts: 1784
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:15 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by Station Aficionado »

Unfortunately, there is no better route (at least in any practical sense). If the HS were run as a separate train, I'd guess they could tighten the schedule, as it would not have to factor in recovery times for delays further east on the Cardinal route. Also the various CREATE projects will ultimately speed the Chicago entry/exit a bit. But it's not going to be a fast route any time soon.

jstolberg
Posts: 1303
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:17 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by jstolberg »

Station Aficionado wrote:Unfortunately, there is no better route (at least in any practical sense). If the HS were run as a separate train, I'd guess they could tighten the schedule, as it would not have to factor in recovery times for delays further east on the Cardinal route. Also the various CREATE projects will ultimately speed the Chicago entry/exit a bit. But it's not going to be a fast route any time soon.
No need to factor in additional recovery time for the Cardinal. That should be included in the hour of station time in Indianapolis.

Station Aficionado
Posts: 1784
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:15 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by Station Aficionado »

jstolberg wrote:
Station Aficionado wrote:Unfortunately, there is no better route (at least in any practical sense). If the HS were run as a separate train, I'd guess they could tighten the schedule, as it would not have to factor in recovery times for delays further east on the Cardinal route. Also the various CREATE projects will ultimately speed the Chicago entry/exit a bit. But it's not going to be a fast route any time soon.
No need to factor in additional recovery time for the Cardinal. That should be included in the hour of station time in Indianapolis.
True, but sadly that's often not enough recovery time.

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

Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by justalurker66 »

If they create a high speed route the Cardinal could also follow it ... there is no way the current route will be competitive. It is like taking surface streets into Chicago instead of the freeway.

Station Aficionado
Posts: 1784
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:15 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by Station Aficionado »

justalurker gave the times and distance for Chicago-Dyer earlier. Here are the distances and times for the all various segments of the HS route:

Chicago-Dyer; 29 miles; 1:13 sb; 1:38 nb
Dyer-Rensselaer; 46 miles; 0:51 sb; 0:49 nb
Rensselaer-Lafayette, 47 miles; 1:11 sb; 1:05 nb
Lafayette-Crawfordsville, 27 miles; 0:30 sb; 0:35 nb
Crawfordsville-Indianapolis, 47 miles; 1:20 sb; 0:58 nb (this section is unsignalled)

If the train is on schedule, the intermediate times from Dyer to Rensselaer, and Lafayette to Crawfordsville aren't too bad, but everything else is pretty slow.

ThirdRail7
Posts: 4153
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:07 pm

Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by ThirdRail7 »

Station Aficionado wrote:justalurker gave the times and distance for Chicago-Dyer earlier. Here are the distances and times for the all various segments of the HS route:

Chicago-Dyer; 29 miles; 1:13 sb; 1:38 nb
Dyer-Rensselaer; 46 miles; 0:51 sb; 0:49 nb
Rensselaer-Lafayette, 47 miles; 1:11 sb; 1:05 nb
Lafayette-Crawfordsville, 27 miles; 0:30 sb; 0:35 nb
Crawfordsville-Indianapolis, 47 miles; 1:20 sb; 0:58 nb (this section is unsignalled)

If the train is on schedule, the intermediate times from Dyer to Rensselaer, and Lafayette to Crawfordsville aren't too bad, but everything else is pretty slow.
What you guys are leaving out is the train is routinely late out of Dye. An hour and fifteen minutes to travel 30 miles, and the train is often in the bag....despite an on time departure from CHI. It is MIND BOGGLING!

It is unfair of me to say this, but I can think of better uses for this equipment.
I want my road foreman!

Backshophoss
Posts: 6430
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by Backshophoss »

IF the Hoosier State/Cardinal are the "Hospital trains" to Beech Grove,there must be times when equipment is routed to be shopped that are
"speed restricted" in some way,you can kiss the schedule goodby. :(
The Hoosier State is a "nesscessary evil" and should be exempt from PRIIA rules,otherwise Amtrak spends big $$$ to get CSX
to move cars to/from Chicago-Beech Grove.
The "trick" becomes in how to get the "congress critters" to allow this "loss leader" to continue.
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

Jeff Smith
Site Admin
Posts: 8632
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: If it's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium

Re: Hoosier State on the Chopping Block?

Post by Jeff Smith »

Not-so-recent update: WISHTV
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Some community members continue to work to make sure a rail line that stops in Lafayette doesn't disappear later this year.

The federal government announced last year it would stop funding shortfalls on rail lines that are less than 750 miles long. This means the Hoosier State Line, an Amtrak line running daily between Chicago and Indianapolis with a stop in Lafayette, could stop running in October.

The Indiana Department of Transportation was expected to pick up the slack in funding, but has not agreed to do that yet. But, INDOT has agreed to conduct a study, our sister station WLFI reports.
Next stop, Willoughby
~el Jefe ("Jeff Smith Rules") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

Return to “Amtrak”