Amtrak could cancel Indiana route, leaving region riders stranded

2012-09-21T11:45:00Z 2012-09-23T00:16:40Z Amtrak could cancel Indiana route, leaving region riders strandedBy Keith Benman keith.benman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3326 nwitimes.com
September 21, 2012 11:45 am  • 

Dyer and Rensselaer could lose Amtrak service four days a week if the passenger railroad and state cannot agree on a funding subsidy.

At issue is a new rule that keeps Amtrak from using its federal operating grant for routes as short as the Hoosier State, which runs four days per week between Chicago and Indianapolis, said Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari.

Amtrak has been talking to local communities about its concern and Hoosier State service would end Oct. 1, 2013, if an agreement cannot be reached, Magliari said.

"We hope to work something out," he said.

The Cardinal, a long-distance train, would continue to run through Dyer and Rensselaer. That train runs three days per week, on days the Hoosier State does not run, from Chicago to Indianapolis and on to Washington, D.C., and New York City.

In 2011, 2,439 people got on or off an Amtrak train at the Dyer platform and shelter at 913 Sheffield Ave., according to Amtrak's fact sheet for Indiana. In Rensselaer, 2,042 passengers used the station.

The shutdown of the Hoosier State also would affect station stops in Indiana at Lafayette, Crawfordsville and Indianapolis.

In all, five Amtrak trains pass through parts of Indiana, stopping at 11 stations where 146,390 passengers total were served in 2011, according to Amtrak's fact sheet for Indiana.

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