Indiana last to decide on keeping state Amtrak route

2013-10-11T14:25:00Z 2013-10-12T11:41:03Z Indiana last to decide on keeping state Amtrak routeThe Associated Press The Associated Press
October 11, 2013 2:25 pm  • 

Indiana became the last of 19 state's still mulling a decision on whether to keep its local Amtrak route when Illinois announced Friday it would pony up an additional $9 million to keep local routes running there.

Indiana now has until Wednesday to decide if it wants to put up almost $3 million to keep the Hoosier State running from Chicago to Indianapolis four days per week. The train also stops in Dyer, Rensselaer, Lafayette and Crawfordsville.

The deals to subsidize the Amtrak routes are required by a 2008 law passed by Congress that shifts most of the costs for shorter routes from the federal government to states.

The law affects more than two dozen routes in 19 states. Only Indiana has yet to reach a deal.

The additional $9 million the Illinois Department of Transportation announced Friday to keep local services running brings the state's grand total for Amtrak subsidies to $37 million.

On the days the Cardinal does not run between Chicago and Indianapolis, Amtrak operates the long-distance Cardinal service, which goes from Chicago to Cincinnati via Indianapolis. That train is not affected by the 2008 law and will keep running.

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.

Times staff writer Keith Benman contributed to this report.

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