RENSSELAER — Amtrak announced Monday that all tickets sold for rides on the Hoosier State train line after June 30 are suspended and ticket holders must make other arrangements.
The announcement was made via the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance.
In conjunction with the announcement, the IPRA denounced the defunding of the Hoosier State train service, which runs between Indianapolis and Chicago four days each week.
“The end of daily rail service to Chicago now appears imminent,” the IPRA stated on Monday. The organization went on to say that the Hoosier State line has provided an alternative to both the “congested Interstate 65” and the “frequently delayed O’Hare Airport.”
The funding for Amtrak’s Hoosier State line has normally been provided by the Indiana Department of Transportation, with some contribution from one county and four cities along the route, including Rensselaer. Other cities the line services include Crawfordsville, Lafayette and Dyer. It runs on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
But Gov. Eric Holcomb announced in January that he would pull $3 million per year from the state’s next two-year budget, which had been designated for the Hoosier State line. And a new deal to secure funding for the line appears highly unlikely.
While discussing the situation last week, Rensselaer Mayor Stephen Wood said, “I don’t see any movement yet to help us fund the Hoosier State. It looks pretty bleak.”
“We are extremely disappointed in Gov. Holcomb’s decision to defund this Amtrak service,” stated IPRA President Steve Coxhead on Monday.
He was followed up by IPRA member Doug Yerkeson, who said the line’s route to Chicago has provided “a vital link to the nation’s third-largest metropolitan area,” and member Dana Smith, who pointed out that a “plethora of Purdue students” use the service.
The other train with local stops, which provides transportation for the other three days in every week and will continue to function normally, is the long-distance Cardinal train which also stops in Indianapolis and Chicago.