train

A Ride Aboard The 'New' Hoosier State Line

Sep 16, 2015
Barbara Brosher / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana’s Hoosier State Line is in its second month under a new operating agreement that promises to provide better service and more amenities to train riders.

After months of negotiations – and talks that dragged on longer than expected -- the state Department of Transportation reached a deal with Amtrak and Iowa Pacific to continue service on the line for at least the next two years.

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Barbara Brosher took a ride on the train recently to see whether anything has changed, other than the cars and the engines.

Kenneth Spencer / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kendo26/5606710714

Crawfordsville’s mayor is organizing an informal social media campaign to put pressure on railroad operator CSX to pay more attention to the city.

Mayor Todd Barton, speaking Thursday on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, encouraged Crawfordsville residents to phone CSX to complain about trains clogging intersections in the city.

But he says the idea of an angry phone call may be passé.

Courtesy Crawfordsville Mayor's Office

There’s an argument to be made that getting the Stellar Communities designation was the easy part for Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton.

This week on Ask The Mayor, we’ll find out from him whether the toughest parts – gathering money and implementing an ambitious plan -- are yet to come, and whether that puts significantly more pressure on him to deliver meaningful change during his second term in office.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Indiana has a new contract in place securing the future of the Hoosier State Rail Line for the next two years. 

The deal between the state, Amtrak and Iowa Pacific began Sunday after months of negotiation and uncertainty. 

Amtrak will operate the line running from Indianapolis to Chicago, while Iowa Pacific will be responsible for train equipment and maintenance.  The line will feature food service and free wi-fi internet.

If ticket sales don’t cover all expenses, Indiana will pay Amtrak the difference. 

James Britton / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jbritton/2830693569

Governor Mike Pence is noncommittal on whether Indiana will support the future of the Hoosier State Passenger Rail Line with state dollars.  Speaking to reporters Thursday, Pence shifted responsibility to local communities along the line that runs between Chicago and Indianapolis.

Federal funding for the Hoosier State Line was cut off last year.  The state and local communities along the line reached a temporary funding agreement that keeps the route running through October. 

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

In Indiana last year, 34 people – 19 pedestrians and 15 automobile passengers -- were killed by encounters with trains. That places the Hoosier State among the ten worst in America for train fatalities.

To try to stem that tide, Norfolk Southern Railroad officials have embarked on their yearly Project Lifesaver train rides. It’s an effort to keep pedestrians and motorists safer around train tracks.

Think about it like this: what sits beneath most rails? Often, it's loose gravel.

IN lawmakers eye funding for train service

Apr 15, 2013

Funding for Amtrak’s corridor route in the state becomes the responsibility of the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) in October. A lack of dollars would impact the Hoosier State route that runs from Chicago to Indianapolis. It has stops in Dyer, Rensselaer, Lafayette and Crawfordsville.

State Representative Randy Truitt (R-West Lafayette) says he hosted a meeting of other lawmakers, Amtrak officials and representatives from INDOT recently to discuss funding options. He thinks not acting is doing a disservice to the state of Indiana.

Man hit and killed by train in Lafayette

Dec 8, 2011

Police say the pedestrian who was struck and killed by a train in Lafayette this morning was a white male in his early 20s.

 The incident occurred around 8am near the station at Riehle Plaza.

 Witnesses told investigators the young man walked onto the tracks.

 He was pronounced dead on the scene.

 The deceased’s identity is being withheld pending notification of family.