• Hoosier State Discussion (both Amtrak and Iowa Pacific)

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by njtmnrrbuff
 
The Hoosier State's travel time was very time uncompetitive over driving or taking the bus. Of course, the Cardinal is. The fact that the Hoosier State had to travel on so many different host railroad routes that offered slow speeds didn't help with the travel times. Chicago to Indy has potential to be a good corridor but Indiana must learn from the issues of why the Hoosier State did poorly. Remember, the Cardinal schedule is the same as the Hoosier State.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Totally agree Mr. NJTMNR.

Even at Lafayette. where it "was in the game" with passable arrival and departure times and a walk from the Purdue campus, the Ellis amenities. while they were there, were meangingless.

The schedule time was a joke when compared with I-65; Indiana rightly held rail money was better spent making the CSS&SB viable and less the Toonerville Trolley.

Who knows if The Cardinal will be around for long. The only train on the line with passenger equipment in its consist could be BEE-Lumber St. (anyone know that Amtrak Facility Code?) equipment moves.
  by Arborwayfan
 
Random order thoughts:

The DE route has a lot more potential stops closer together than the current rail route from Indy to Chicago, and probably more than any route. In Maine you've got the whole string of beach towns, maybe not so huge in population but with lots of second homes and tourist destinations. In the tiny sliver of NH you've got a big university and you're in the commuting radius of Boston. And the route either belongs to a sympathetic transit authority or to a railroad without much freight business that is probably glad to have the DE.

Indy is a day-trip destination from within Indiana: big zoo and botanical garden approx 1.2 miles from the station; Indiana State Museum and Eiteljorg Museum of Western Art and Native American Culture (or something along those lines) under a mile from the station; minor league ballpark even closer to the station; football stadium and convention center close to the station in the other direction; Indiana State Historical Society museum under a mile north of the station; canal with paddelboat and canoe rentals in there; walkable-ish downtown with restaurants and whatnot basically between the station and most of those attractions. There's also a big children's museum that gets big travelling exhibits for adults, too, 3.4 miles north of the station and right on the Bus Rapid Transit Red Line with 10-minute headways and 25 minute trip time including the walking. Probably most of that would not bring a lot of people in from Chicago, except maybe the odd convention or football game, but I guarantee people from Lafayette and Crawfordsville make day trips to Indy every weekend and vacation day, and that on regular weekdays there are a certain number of people from those two cities going to downtown Indy for special work-related trips, or to do things at the state offices that are also under a mile from the station. I can guarantee the same thing for any direction you choose: Greencastle and Terre Haute; Bloomington; Muncie; etc. I can't guarantee that there are enough of those people to justify regional rail into Indy from any of those towns -- driving and parking are easy and cheap, partly because the city and state have based their development on cars and roads for 70 or 80 years and partly because the state leased a toll road for a gigantic lump sum and spend billions building and expanding highways in the last 15 years, with bare lip service to public transportation outside the NICTD area. (Some rural legislators are really nosy about blocking transit development in Indianapolis; I doubt light rail would actually have been better than BRT, but in any case there's a special law banning Indy from including any rail in its transit so they couldn't have even investigated it.) But there are a lot of day-trippers.

I don't know if there are a lot of Chicago-Indy business travelers, especially ones who live in a place where a day business trip by train from CUS would be more convenient than driving even if it were a fast train. But maybe there are. Lots of health ins and finance companies right downtown.

Indiana is very Indianapolis-centered. Most of the Interstates lead there. Part of the reason for building I-69 was to cut something like 20 minutes or half an hour off the trip from Evansville and Vincennes to Indy for specialized medical care. Indy suburbs are growing; Carmel is pretty much the Hoosier word for "fast-growing place of rich people" these days.

There is not good or frequent intra-Indiana bus service. I think TH has 2 a day to Indy, on Greyhound and one state-funded run via Bloomington.

Bottom line: Chicago-Indy travel is probably even harder of a sell than Indy-Chicago travel. The state has very little reason to want to subsidize Lafayette-Chicago travel. But Lafayette-Indy travel (or similar on other routes) might justify some kind of regional rail that was designed for getting people from the Hoosier hinterlands to Indy. Might, because driving is easy.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
You make good points regarding Indy, Prof. Martland. I'm very at a loss that I can't have "Day at the Races" with my friends there. We take a Suite (usually Westin with a Capitol view; on me) for one of the Triple Crown runnings, throw some "pennies in a pari-mutuel pot", have great wine, nibbles (on them) , and time together. Next morning Breakfast at that wonderful chain you have there - Cafe Patachou.

I've always been invited to their Thanx at their house on Geist Reservoir. Stay at a Hampton near there.

But, thanks to our "buddy" named COVID, all this is passed for this year and I fear next year as well. At 79, I'm running out of time to do these things. I may no longer be able to drive at 81 during '22.

In short, if the IC/ Big Four route had not been chopped up and <4hr was offered, guess how I'd get down there. Failing that if they still invite and health allows, I'll likely fly.

But all told, "Indianoplace" is simply a "inoperative" moniker. But when you're down to "one a day" and such is not in the league with travel time "little town to big town and its connections in the morning and back to little town in the evening" has proven the strongest pattern.
  by mtuandrew
 
So Prof. Maitland, basically I read your post as saying Indiana could easily decide to fund commuter rail Gary-Lowell and regional rail Lafayette-Indy, and in the same bill expressly forbid any passenger rail line between Lowell and Lafayette?
  by Tadman
 
I think what he’s saying is that the 1921 map at Amtrak.com is foolish and obsolete in a nice way.

His comments are spot on other than leaving out the masses of suburban Chicago kids at IU and Purdue.

As a kid in South Bend I had no idea why everybody was so Indy-obsessed when chicago was an hour closer.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Three words: Virgin Interstate Median. LOL. Okay, for Tad I'll add a third: NICTD. If I were Amtrak, I'd chop up the Cardinal, never mind the Hoosier. Seriously, I don't think Virgin would work here, either, or hold their interest given what everyone is saying about Indy. How'd they get an NFL team, anyway? Nice stadium, though. Guess that's how!
  by CarterB
 
Grew up in Indy. Boring as hell. 500 only highlight all year We drove to Chi for any real fun.
  by scratchyX1
 
njtmnrrbuff wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:54 pm The Hoosier State's travel time was very time uncompetitive over driving or taking the bus. Of course, the Cardinal is. The fact that the Hoosier State had to travel on so many different host railroad routes that offered slow speeds didn't help with the travel times. Chicago to Indy has potential to be a good corridor but Indiana must learn from the issues of why the Hoosier State did poorly. Remember, the Cardinal schedule is the same as the Hoosier State.
The last few times i've made the drive across indiana to chicago, hours were added to the trip due to construction and congestion. If one could claw back some of the bike trails, a close to competitive cooridor train would get heavy use. Maybe a Virgin/brightline/fortress NICTD partnership?

oh, as for indy attractions.
the privately run MONORAIL
  by Arborwayfan
 
Yes to pretty much all of that. Lots of suburban Chicago kids in Lafayette and Indy; based on what happens on the ex-IC line over in Illinois, one-a-day service with late afternoon or evening departures in both directions would probably get a fair number of students going home for weekends and some students and professors going to conferences and whatnot. Like anything else, it would depend on having a speedy, reliable schedule.

If I lived in SB I would go to Chicago, not Indy. It's a whole other ballgame.

I don't know if the legislature would bother banning any particular stretch of commuter rail; the Indy ban was more a restriction in the Indy+county local government. But the basic idea is about right. Indiana is willing to invest a lot in commuter rail infrastructure that makes it easy for people to earn in Chicago and live and spend in Indiana -- logical, pays dividends in property taxes, spending, and some income taxes. Chicago tourists coming to the Indiana Dunes on weekends are a bonus. Indiana is a lot less interested in train service to help Indiana residents go to Chicago for fun and not especially interested in intra-Indiana bus or train corridors.

That little hospital elevated monorail is fun.
  by Tadman
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:51 pm I don't think Virgin would work here, either, or hold their interest given what everyone is saying about Indy. How'd they get an NFL team, anyway? Nice stadium, though. Guess that's how!
RE the Colts, most Indiana residents are colts fans other than us in the top left of the state. It's a state-wide fan base like the Packers.

RE Virgin, I'm not expert but Indy Union Station and the surrounds were a booming real estate development in 1984 and have since been a bit forgotten. As a real estate play there is a huge piece of empty land and former shopping mall in the station that is ripe for redevelopment. You also have suburbs and exurbs of Chicago that are ripe for TOD and also Lafayette, where they could build student housing around the station. The real estate play may be viable here.
  by Bob Roberts
 
Tadman wrote: Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:48 am The real estate play may be viable here.
[much further fetched] If Brightline really wanted to go the real estate route they could (in foamer fantasy land) terminate their trains at LaSalle for the CTA connections and build office space and retail in the air rights over the tracks.

Not sure that makes as much sense in Chicago (given the rail competition) as Miami Central, but gezzz those Rock Island tracks stick out when viewing Chicago from above.

Having said that, Brightline is still acting 'cautiously' (not the right word choice) with their real estate opportunities. They had an opportunity to submit an RFP for a massive development at Charlotte's under construction Gateway station late last year (they have mentioned interest in CLT-ATL in several of their public filings), but they chose not to participate. I am also not clear on how much development potential exists in Victorville.
  by mtuandrew
 
Ok, it’s not perfect but I think this is ready for general consumption:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid= ... sp=sharing

Lots of different options for routes, but I bolded the ones that made the most sense for me. I deliberately want the route that passes through Lafayette even at the expense of other towns - it’s a world transport center due to Purdue. And to Jeff: there’s plenty of shoulder running along I-65 and US 231, but the median running you want is in the middle of US 52 between Lafayette and Lebanon. :wink:
  by lstone19
 
mtuandrew wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:14 pm Ok, it’s not perfect but I think this is ready for general consumption:

-xxxx-
I get "access denied" when clicking on the link.
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