Hoosier State/Iowa Pacific Transition Thread

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Notelvis

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Another photo from Alamosa this summer....... IPH has LOT's of vintage passenger equipment awaiting restoration at their disposal. This dome looks like one of the low profile domes B&O used on their Capitol Limited. It and the coach next to it (plus the three cars on the other side of that older coach) were last used on the defunct Minnesota Zephyr Dinner Train in Stillwater, MN. The F-unit diesels which pulled that dinner train are sitting in Alamosa too.

 
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neroden

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HERE is the actual agreement between INDot and IP.
Some of the details spelled out in that agreement are amusing (the bottles of water for the engine crew, for example). Of particular note is that the agreement is for daily service...if/when slots are available on all seven days (the lack of slots being at issue, of course). Also of note is the connecting bus service additions.
I do hope that eventually Amtrak can get a daily slot for the Cardinal, and IP can get a different daily slot for the Hoosier State. Either:

-- IP should have the morning CHI->IND, evening IND->CHI slot

Or:

-- IP should have the current slot, while the Cardinal should have the morning CHI->IND, evening IND->CHI slot

I favor the first, because morning CHI->IND, evening IND->CHI are the "Indianapolis tourist promotion" slots and I think that the state government would be more interested in funding that... the current slots are the "escaping from Indiana to visit Chicago" slots...
 
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jis

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Does IP have any slot at all? Doesn't the train still operate under Amtrak's agreement with CSX with Amtrak T&E crew? At least at present IP has no operational responsibility. Getting there is going to be another interesting can of worms.
 

zephyr17

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Does IP have any slot at all? Doesn't the train still operate under Amtrak's agreement with CSX with Amtrak T&E crew? At least at present IP has no operational responsibility. Getting there is going to be another interesting can of worms.
Yes, they use Amtrak's slot. Amtrak will almost certainly continue to have operational responsiblity.
 

dlagrua

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The IP agreement with Amtrak is most interesting as it may pave the way to add additional equipment on other routes. The public /private partnership may be the way of the future. The Hoosier state runs with an Amtrak conductor and engineer and led by a colorful Iowa Pacific marked engine. We saw the consist when we were in CUS on Tuesday. Outside of the two Amtrak employees, the food service people and other onboard personnel are IP employees. Now that IP equipment is available, I just wonder why the Cardinal that is often completely full to capacity both ways, isn't going to a daily schedule? Ip has dining cars and sleepers available.
 

zephyr17

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Well, among other things, the Cardinal takes the slot the other 3 days. Indiana isn't going to pay IP to run the Cardinal all the way through. Better if IP got a separate daily slot from the Cardinal with better times in Indianapolis.
 

Anderson

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Well, among other things, the Cardinal takes the slot the other 3 days. Indiana isn't going to pay IP to run the Cardinal all the way through. Better if IP got a separate daily slot from the Cardinal with better times in Indianapolis.
Not to mention that an agreement to run the Hoosier on the back of the Cardinal would be a complicated mess of compensation and counter-compensation between Amtrak and the state. Though the menu differs, at least on all days you have a reasonable food service situation on the train (IP's days being better than Amtrak's from what I can tell).
 

Bob Dylan

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This is a must ride if you can get to Indy or CHI. What a deal!

And robs usual great trip report makes it sound like you are there! Thanks for sharing Charlie!
 

rrdude

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One of the best trip reports on this board I have ever read. Nicely done Robert. Felt like I was there! (Wish I was there.....)
 
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dlagrua

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While we did not ride the new Hoosier State we did walk the entire length of the consist, this past Tuesday at CUS. You have to walk past it to get to the Cardinal's Cars. It a much longer walk to board the trains but being railfans, we very much enjopyed seeing the old style design, coloring and vintage cars of the IP train on the rails. Only time will tell how popular the IP diner/observation car will be. Frequent riders would probably find it to be a refreshing change from the Amfleet Coaches.
 

MrFSS

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Only time will tell how popular the IP diner/observation car will be. Frequent riders would probably find it to be a refreshing change from the Amfleet Coaches.
That dome/observation car is really nice as you ride through the mountains of northwest and central Indiana!! :p
 

Bob Dylan

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Only time will tell how popular the IP diner/observation car will be. Frequent riders would probably find it to be a refreshing change from the Amfleet Coaches.
That dome/observation car is really nice as you ride through the mountains of northwest and central Indiana!! :p
Good one Tom! Does it make the Corn and Bean fields look better? LOL
 

NorthShore

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If the IP cars (and crews) are being deadheaded on most Cardinal trips, why not coordinate a plan to make the dome available for additional dinner seating out of Chicago. Sort of like a partial Pacific Parlor Car perk for sleeper passengers.
 

rrdude

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If the IP cars (and crews) are being deadheaded on most Cardinal trips, why not coordinate a plan to make the dome available for additional dinner seating out of Chicago. Sort of like a partial Pacific Parlor Car perk for sleeper passengers.
Because that would make sense.......... SMH
 

jis

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If the IP cars (and crews) are being deadheaded on most Cardinal trips, why not coordinate a plan to make the dome available for additional dinner seating out of Chicago. Sort of like a partial Pacific Parlor Car perk for sleeper passengers.
It is a decision that INDOT has to make, and work out the logisitics of hooking up the consist in such a way that passengers can actually go to the IP consist from the Amtrak consist. Somehow I think this is unlikely to happen in the short run at least.
 

keelhauled

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Because IP equipment is deadheaded on only two of the Cardinal's six weekly trips. Because Amtrak would have to pay IP for the use of the equipment. Because Amtrak would have to pay to staff the car. Because even if there was more seating the Cardinal's food service can't handle feeding that many people at once.
 

jis

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Besides the upper level of the Dome is to become Diamond Class, and will not be accessible by those that did not buy a Diamond Class ticket. Food service for he rest will be provided in the lower level cafe.

All in all what is being proposed is a bit of a logistical nightmare. Remember that the equipment and OBS contract is between INDOT and IP. Amtrak is party to it only to the extent that they are to provide T&E to operate it.

The best way toi proceed going forward would be for arranging with CSX to get a second clear slot for 7 days a week to be used by a daily Hoosier State (well I suspect it will be 6 days a week rather than daily) and that can have the regular Hoosier State service provided by IP. The Cardinal can operate separately as a LD train providing whatever service Amtrak chooses to provide or not.
 

jis

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Well, it is often the case that when you want to operate a service with just one consist typically you run it 6 days a week and service the consist on the 7th day.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Ok I get the maintance and staffing issue is much easier 6 days a week, but we should be running trains for the passangers and not for the operators.

It would be interesting to see what day would not get service, and how would you sell it to the state. It's a short haul train, not a long distance train.

Which of course does bring up the issue with IP trains. At some point the you will need to swap out equipment for service. There goes your Diamond Class service.
 

Bob Dylan

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IP has more cars than is realized including several Dome/Diner cars and can run Diamond Class easily on every train if substitutions are needed!

jis explained the 6 day a week service and why it wouldn't work 7 days a week without more service!
 
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