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Weekly Newsletter: The complicated future of train service in Indiana

March 10, 2015

Last week the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announced it will end the Hoosier train service on April 1st.

INDOT had planned on using a private company’s locomotives and coaches and onboard customer service while retaining Amtrak employees to run the trains. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), concerned the agreement left no single party responsible for safety, said INDOT would have to register as a railroad to move forward. Governor Pence found the FRA’s decision unacceptable and decided to cut funding for the service all together.

Although this is a complicated issue and we are not qualified to weigh in, we would like to stress it is best to err on the side of safety even if it takes longer to reach an agreement.

We urge both sides to work together to come to a solution in the coming weeks before Indiana loses train service. The Hoosier service is an important transportation option for Indiana and could be even more attractive with more attention and investment. Failure to keep the line running would be a major setback to improving transportation in Indiana - and throughout the entire Midwest.

It is critical that Governor Pence and the Indiana legislature know how important trains are to their constituents. If you live in Indiana, please take 1 minute or less to tell Governor Pence and your representatives why the Hoosier service matters to you and your community.

All the best,

Julius Parod
Manager of Communications

Last Week at MHSRA:

When rail opponents threatened to cut all Amtrak funding, our supporters came up big. Over 1000 rail advocates wrote to their elected representatives in favor of greater investments in passenger rail. Check out our press release celebrating the overwhelming vote in favor of Amtrak.

Indiana’s Hoosier train service is scheduled to be canceled on April 1st. If you live in Indiana, help us tell Governor Pence to invest in the corridor.

Check out our one-pager supporting new service from Chicago to the Quad Cities.

Articles We Enjoyed:

BREAKING NEWS: Supreme Court unanimously rules that Amtrak is a government entity and is allowed to make rules to keep trains on time on freight-owned track. The court concluded that a lower court should rule on other details involved with the case. We’d like to give a special thanks to NARP and ELPC for their efforts to promote this decision. Read more about the decision here.

All aboard: House votes to continue funding Amtrak
MHSRA Executive Director Rick Harnish weighs in on the recent Amtrak Authorization.

Indiana DOT: Amtrak Hoosier State Rail Service Ending April 1
Amtrak could still run the service on its own if INDOT changes its mind.

Science says taking the train is better for your health than driving to work
“The longer people spend commuting in cars, the worse their psychological well-being.”

The 11 Most Beautiful Train Stations Across America
Two stations from the Midwest.

Five highlights from high-speed rail project update
Could high-speed rail extend to Sacramento, Las Vegas?

Unspectacular work marks first high-speed rail construction
High-speed rail is being built in America. Right now.

Upcoming Events:

March 21st - Annual Spring Meeting in Chicago, IL. See presentations by public officials and transportation experts from across the Midwest.

April 29th - Illinois Railroad Summit in Springfield, IL. Save the date; more details to follow.

A donation of $15 or more today will go directly towards educating elected officials. Can you help us move forward in 2015?

Julius Parod
Midwest High Speed Rail Association
4765 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
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