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[INDOT] New Hoosier State Train Offers Wi-Fi, Food Service, Dome-Car Seating
Start Date: 8/1/2015Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 8/1/2015
Entry Description

New Hoosier State Train Offers Wi-Fi, Food Service, Dome-Car Seating

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Transportation announces it has signed long-term passenger rail agreements with Amtrak, Iowa Pacific Holdings and on-line communities for the Hoosier State train, which operates four days per week between Chicago and Indianapolis. The Hoosier State train transitions to the new service beginning tomorrow, Aug. 2. 

New amenities on board
State and local governments are contracting with the private sector to improve the service and provide new amenities, making it competitive with driving or taking the bus. Iowa Pacific will offer fresh food and drinks, including alcoholic beverages, for purchase on board. 

Passengers can stay productive or enjoy the journey with limited free Wi-Fi service in all passenger cars. The Hoosier State’s Wi-Fi network uses available bandwidth from cellular carriers along the tracks.

One of the three Iowa Pacific passenger cars will be a unique dome lounge, which will soon house business-class seating with hot meals and drinks included. For a limited time, Hoosier State coach passengers may enjoy the dome lounge and its curved glass windows that extend overhead at no additional charge. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis, and each table generally seats four passengers.

In addition, the contracts allow flexibility for possible future improvements in schedule, frequency or connecting bus service.

Purchase tickets
The four-days-weekly Hoosier State (Trains 850 & 851) combines with the three-days-weekly Amtrak Cardinal (Trains 50 & 51) to provide daily service between Indianapolis and Chicago. 

Tickets are available at Amtrak.com, 800-USA-RAIL and other sales channels, including Amtrak mobile apps. Hoosier State adult coach fares range from $24 to $48 each way and are subject to discounts and two rewards programs, the Rail Baron Club and Amtrak Guest Rewards. Amtrak eTickets, paper tickets and reservations will continue to be issued, and existing tickets will be honored with no changes in fares, schedules or procedures.

New contracts
Under the new contracts, Amtrak will serve as the operator for the Hoosier State, work with host railroads, provide train and engine crews, and manage reservations and ticketing. Trains will continue to be operated by experienced and well-trained Amtrak crews responsible for safe operations. Each month, INDOT will pay Amtrak for its expenses not covered by ticket revenue or Amtrak will provide the state with any excess revenue. 

Iowa Pacific is the state’s contractor to provide the train equipment, train maintenance, food service and marketing. Iowa Pacific is one of the world’s premier providers of passenger and excursion trains with services in Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Texas, and other states. INDOT will receive 25 percent of Iowa Pacific’s operating profits for the Hoosier State.

Initially INDOT anticipates paying a total of $254,527 per month and the communities of Crawfordsville, Lafayette, Rensselaer, Tippecanoe County and West Lafayette would pay a combined $21,194 per month. The contracts continue through June 30, 2017, and INDOT may prolong the service with Iowa Pacific for up to four additional years.

The contracts require Amtrak and Iowa Pacific Holdings to comply with all Amtrak and Federal Railroad Administration requirements. INDOT has designated a staff member to manage contract compliance, and will retain a mechanical expert for routine inspections of the Hoosier State locomotives and railcars.

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  • Agency Name
    Transportation, Indiana Department of

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