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With a new administration in D.C., it's time to think outside of the box because passenger rail's survival just may depend on it

Friday, July 25, 2014

Tackling the Headlines 67

Sugarcane train shutting down

In the 50th state, there will be two tourist railroads instead of three come next Friday.

Take: For a state that has very little trackage, this is a blow for anyone who wants to ride the rails on existing infrastructure.

Indy yanks Hoosier State funding

May pull out has now turned to has pulled out.

Take: I have no idea if this was Indianapolis objecting to the Hoosier State potentially becoming an Amtrak train in name only, the capital city not wanting to pay the large share of route's funding, or something else, but this definitely serves as a potential red flag for anyone who advocates municipal funding in the Section 209 Era of state-funded train service.

Caltrain will be electrified in five years

Amid all the bad news, a bit of good.

Take: This will be a boon for the region as a whole.


  1. If Indy won't contribute $40 per daytripper, then neither will any other stop on the line. The "new" Hoosier State should eliminate stops at Crawfordsville, Beech Grove, Rensselaer and Dyer which add up to only 5100 passengers per year and offer express service - Indy, Lafayette, Chicago. Something has to be done about the 5+ hour trip covering less than 200 miles. Amtrak can haul their deadhead repairs to Beech Grove on the Cardinal.

    1. Something has to be done to improve the track conditions but eliminating stops isn't going to solve the problem. Someone has to tell Indy that having multiple frequencies at marketable times will be much better than what's being offered now.

      As for Amtrak, I figure that if Corridor Capital subsequently adds frequencies alongside improved frequencies that it would either provide express service between Chi-Town and Indy on the days the Cardinal doesn't operate or that it'd put everything on the Cardinal and leave Chicago earlier so that it can cut off the deadhead equipment and still leave Indy at its scheduled time.