Iowa Pacific wants to increase routes on Hoosier State Line

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Iowa Pacific railroad is aiming to speed up and expand service for passengers after it takes over a passenger line between Indianapolis and Chicago next month.

The company secured a bid in a partnership with Amtrak for the Hoosier State Line after the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration had been at odds for months about a contract expiring at the end of April.

Iowa Pacific Holdings Inc. President Ed Ellis told WLFI-TV that he wants to increase round trips for the line from four a week to 12 per day.

He said the company also plans to decrease travel times so passengers can get from one city to the other in less than two hours. The trip currently takes at least three hours.

The Hoosier State Line was one of 28 Amtrak routes of less than 750 miles affected by Congress' 2008 move to shift most of the costs of those lines to states. Indiana has been struggling to keep the heavily subsidized, little-used line open ever since.

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