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Iowa Pacific rail partnership launch delayed in Indiana

June 30, 2015

Indiana state transportation officials say they won't meet their goal of launching a public-private rail partnership by mid-year.

The Indiana Department of Transportation has asked Amtrak to continue operating the Hoosier State Line between Indianapolis and Chicago until the state can negotiate contracts with Amtrak, Iowa Pacific Holdings and communities served by the route.

It's the fourth time the agency has requested an extension on an October 2013 contract with Amtrak after federal lawmakers stopped funding routes shorter than 750 miles, The Journal and Courier of Lafayette reported.

Iowa Pacific's brown rail cars were expected to replace Amtrak's silver coaches on Wednesday.

An agency spokesman says plans have been delayed so the state can work on the contracts, as well as documentation of four inspections on Iowa Pacific rail cars.

INDOT announced April 6 that  it had a new “understanding” with the Federal Railroad Association that would help it keep the Amtrak line between Indianapolis and Chicago in service.

In March, INDOT had announced the line, which runs four days a week, would be discontinued after April 1. That deadline was later extended through April 30   
 

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