State Cuts Off Hoosier State Line Talks With Corridor Capital

Nov 11, 2014

The state had wanted Corridor Capital to run the line, but it now looks like Amtrak will keep control -- as long as there's funding to keep operating the trains.
Credit Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Amtrak could maintain operations of the passenger rail line from Indianapolis to Chicago after negotiations broke down this weekend between the Indiana Department of Transportation and prospective operator Corridor Capital.

Amtrak has a contract to provide daily service on the Hoosier State Line through Jan. 31. INDOT was looking to Corridor Capital to take over after that in hopes it could improve service on the line, which has consistently operated in the red.

INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield would not say why the contract negotiations ended, and, in a statement, Corridor Capital officials say INDOT has not told them the reason for ending the negotiations either.

Wingfield say INDOT is now requesting pricing from Amtrak.

“Right now we’re looking at Amtrak to continue to be the operator after Jan. 31 but we’re continuing to look at opportunities to improve the service and performance,” Wingfield says.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says the future of the Hoosier State Line remains uncertain as negotiations continue.

“Time is growing short to resolve the many open questions for daily passenger service to continue, but we remain the state’s committed partner,” Magliari says.

Last month, Amtrak began offering Wi-Fi and limited food service on the line in an effort to prove it could successfully improve the Hoosier State Line. Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman also rode the line telling stakeholders Corridor Capital's plans were too uncertain to let the Chicago-based firm run the trains.