With the implementation of the state supported corridor services under the 2008 PRIIA act, now it is going to get interesting to see how it plays out.The purpose of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to obtain competitive bids, which, it is intended, will lead to selection by the State of Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and Hoosier State Partners: Tippecanoe County, Beech Grove, City of Crawfordsville, City of Rensselaer, City of Lafayette, City of West Lafayette, City of Indianapolis, of an entity (or entities) to operate Hoosier State Intercity Passenger Rail Service (Hoosier State Service) in a way which optimizes the service.
The State of Indiana intends to make the selection so that contractor may begin its operations of Hoosier State Service when INDOTs current agreement with Amtrak expires, on September 30, 2014. Should additional time be required, INDOTs current agreement with Amtrak may be extended through January 31, 2015 (by mutual written agreement of the parties).
INDOT and Hoosier State Partners desire that the competitively-selected contractor not only reduce the cost of operating Hoosier State, but also work with INDOT and Hoosier State Partners to improve Hoosier State operations, so as to attract higher ridership and bring in increased revenues, thereby further reducing costs.
The PRIIA has the following clause (217):Indiana will have to find the rolling stock to run the train too. They are not like North Carolina or California that have their own fleet. So someone who can bring cars and locomotives to the table will have to be involved. Should be interesting to see how it plays out. It could just be a gambit on the part of Indiana to abandon it because it comes out to be too expensive, unless an outfit like Iowa Pacific decides take a bath to make a point, like their claim that they can run the Heartland Flyer without any subsidy!
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The STB is to resolve disputes concerning "reasonable compensation."Access to Amtrak Equipment and Services: States wishing to use operators other than Amtrak for the provision of state-supported services shall have access, for reasonable compensation and subject to limitations to preserve current Amtrak services, to Amtrak facilities and equipment for the purpose of operating that particular route.
I think there's a Talgo sitting in Wisconsin that they didn't want to pay for. I think Oregon is happy with their investment in the future.Indiana will have to find the rolling stock to run the train too. They are not like North Carolina or California that have their own fleet. So someone who can bring cars and locomotives to the table will have to be involved. Should be interesting to see how it plays out. It could just be a gambit on the part of Indiana to abandon it because it comes out to be too expensive, unless an outfit like Iowa Pacific decides take a bath to make a point, like their claim that they can run the Heartland Flyer without any subsidy!
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Because Chicago also has no facility for Talgo maintenance.On the days that the Cardinal runs, they could go on a Hiawatha run to where they were manufactured. Does Oregon or Washington have a facility dedicated to Talgos?Strictly Cash on Delivery - Certified check signed by the Indiana State Treasurer. Why can't it be maintained in Chicago before it returns to Indianapolis?
A daily Cardinal service is not directly coupled to the possibility of a separate operator for the Hoosier State, but there are some considerations and interactions.Does the reference to the subject of "Replying to bids for potential new Hoosier State operator?" mean that the contemplation of a daily Amtrak Cardinal service to/from New York Penn - Chicago is no longer viable or being discussed?
I was looking forward to seeing a cool dome car on the train between DC and Chicago:
That is a mighty expensive proposition to just save 15 to 20 mins on an awfully slow schedule. I would rather that the money for doing so were used for something more useful. Since BBBR trackage is in the process of getting fixed to chop off some 10 ins on that run anyway, I think this is not an idea worth pursuing. I hope that it is not given any serious consideration for that reason.One suggestion for the Cardinal is for the routing between Culpepper and Charlottesville to be changed with an addition of a new switch that connects the Norfolk Southern line station platform to the Buckingham Branch line to the west. The NS line tends to be more reliable and faster than the BB line as there are patches where the BB line has a 30 mph speed limit approaching Charlottesville.
If one look at the tracks at CVS with Google Earth, there is little to no room for a connecting track without cutting into the building to the north. Then there is the bridge nearby over the NS tracks. The track crossover is so close to the NS platform at the CVS station, it might be impossible for the Cardinal to use the NS platform and crossover to the BBRR/CSX track without a major track reconfiguration and thus an expensive project. Which would be difficult to justify as it would have little to no benefit for freight rail.The consensus I recall was that there was barely enough room as it was...but that while it worked on paper, the problem was that (A) you'd clip the corner pretty badly, (B) you'd be blocking both tracks at once, and © spending money to do that after sorting out the BBRR was an inefficient use of cash.