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INDOT chooses Chicago firm for Amtrak line

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The Indiana Department of Transportation said Monday that it selected Corridor Capital LLC of Chicago to run the endangered Hoosier State passenger rail line from Indianapolis to Chicago.

Corridor Capital beat out proposals made earlier this year from three other companies.

It remains to be seen, however, what difference the firm will make in service and at what cost. INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield said the state would not share the details of Corridor Capital's proposal until a contract is in place.

The contract is pending approval by communities along the Hoosier State route that pitched in last fall to keep the service going for another year. The communities, which include Indianapolis and Lafayette, would have to continue supporting the service.

Corridor Capital Chairman James Coston did not return a message seeking comment. The firm compares itself to a real estate developer because it assembles the necessary talent and resources for passenger service projects.

Under the state’s request for proposals, Corridor Capital would pick up where Amtrak left off with the Hoosier State, operating four times a week, but at an improved level of service, possibly with wi-fi access, food service and on-time performance.

Corridor beat out Iowa Pacific Holdings LLC, Herzog Transit Inc. and Travel Train Holdings Inc.

INDOT treated the selection process the same as if it were hiring a consultant, so it was not based on the lowest bid, Wingfield said. According to the scoring sheets released by INDOT, Corridor ranked high on its knowledge of passenger rail service; realistic nature of plans for improvement; realistic financing plan; plan to work with Amtrak, which did not respond to the RFP; and ability to work with freight railroads on rerouting the Hoosier State through the Chicago area.

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  • Focus on what's important
    Is there anyone other than me that would forgo wi-fi and food for more frequent service and trip time of 3 hours at the most? They're honing in on passenger rail amenities without even telling us how they're going to give passenger rail basics. For the business travelers, I get that wi-fi is necessary. But being able to leave Chicago at 8 am to reach a business luncheon in Indy on time at 12:30 pm is probably more important. I'm glad they found someone to take over the line. Now if someone would be willing to take over Indianapolis Union Station and I don't know, maybe turn it back into the union station it used to be when it was servicing frequent trains, then we'd have a lot more to be excited about.
  • High Speed Rail Already
    This should be part of a regionally integrated high speed rail line, but it's not. The rest of the world seems to be moving Rail into the 21st Century except the United States. If you look into the origins of the expansion of Highways and Auto-domination in the mid 20th Century you will see the movement essentially killed passenger rail travel. It wasn't economics as much as it was a methodical gutting of a very viable system and we are looking at it's skeleton. High Speed Rail should be on the table. Chicago / Indy / Cincy / Louisville / Detroit / St Louis / Cleveland / Columbus all connected by a Main Line or offshoots. The Main Line connected to an East Coast system for starters and then branching to the South and South Central Regions. The rail bed/map is there, but the politics and lobbyists will be a major obstacle for years to come.

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  1. In reality, Lilly is maintaining profit by cutting costs such as Indiana/US citizen IT workers by a significant amount with their Tata Indian consulting connection, increasing Indian H1B's at Lillys Indiana locations significantly and offshoring to India high paying Indiana jobs to cut costs and increase profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

  2. I think perhaps there is legal precedence here in that the laws were intended for family farms, not pig processing plants on a huge scale. There has to be a way to squash this judges judgment and overrule her dumb judgement. Perhaps she should be required to live in one of those neighbors houses for a month next to the farm to see how she likes it. She is there to protect the people, not the corporations.

  3. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/03-111.htm Corporate farms are not farms, they are indeed factories on a huge scale. The amount of waste and unhealthy smells are environmentally unsafe. If they want to do this, they should be forced to buy a boundary around their farm at a premium price to the homeowners and landowners that have to eat, sleep, and live in a cesspool of pig smells. Imagine living in a house that smells like a restroom all the time. Does the state really believe they should take the side of these corporate farms and not protect Indiana citizens. Perhaps justifiable they should force all the management of the farms to live on the farm itself and not live probably far away from there. Would be interesting to investigate the housing locations of those working at and managing the corporate farms.

  4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

  5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!

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