Hoosier State/Iowa Pacific Transition Thread

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cirdan

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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!
But can they be substitued at short(ish) notice? If they are scattered across the country or in use on other services, you can't really change them around very easily if there is an issue.
 

DSS&A

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Hi,

The Iowa Pacific owns a shortline railroad in Bensenville, Illinois that is only about 21 miles from Chicago Union Station via a Metra commuter train route. The following information was posted on an Yahoo Group discussion list about IP domes for the Hoosier State.

Hoosier State update - Amtrak Issue

By: pacificcoastshay

Jul 16

The answers are pretty straightforward, so I hope you will indulge me on them.

First off, the domes as built had two 12 ton AC units, one in an equipment locker on each end of the car on the lower level. They also had either a service bar or a nurse's station on the lower level, and some of them had dorm spaces. Holland America rebuilt the cars for excursion service in Alaska back in the 1980s, adding a galley, restrooms, and most importantly, a water system and generator. In order to make room for a big water tank to feed the galley and restrooms, and the generator, the HVAC units were removed and new bus-type systems (not RV, much larger capacity) were placed on either end of the upstairs roof. Then a smaller unit was placed in the downstairs locker at the A-end to service the lower level.

IPH owns nine of the full domes. Four of them - SLRG 511, 551, 554 and 1394 - have been refitted for Amtrak service. Those modifications include removal of the rooftop units and replacement with a custom-designed Northwest Rail Electric system that fits two 10-ton systems in the A-end locker around the water tank and pump, and the air handlers in former storage areas at the A- and B-end of the car. The other five domes - SLRG 508, 509, 510, 512 and 513 - all retain their rooftop units, though parts are being assembled right now for conversion of 509. None of the cars with rooftop AC units are Amtrak certified, and replacement of the HVAC system to the internal system is an essential part of the Amtrak upgrades, to make the car meet clearance specs.

The Hoosier State dome is SLRG 554 "Summit View", and has received extensive modification to make the interior systems conform to modern regulatory standards. It has received intense scrutiny from the FRA, Amtrak, FDA and EPA, and passed with flying colors. Much of the work was very trivial - placing of decals, etc. - and some of it was much more intensive - rebuilding sink areas and countertops to conform to modern rules, installing additional emergency lighting, etc.

Right now, 554 is one of a kind in the fleet and in the country, as a fully modernized, 49CFR Part 238-compliant, FDA certificated intercity passenger service dome. A second car is being refitted as well to be an exact copy of the 554. That will probably be 509, though there is still some discussion. In addition, 511 received a lot of the same upgrade work for Pullman service. There is some additional work left to do before it is in the same place as 554, but that work will be progressed as well, as the requirements for Pullman service pretty closely match the Hoosier State requirements. Based on where they are in terms of work to be done, I would expect that 511 will be the first to be completed, and will serve as a backup to 554 should it ever be bad-ordered."
 

MrFSS

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Interesting story.

LINK

Last paragraph says:



If Indiana is truly serious about being a business-friendly state, would like to attract the best and brightest of employees and add significantly to the local and state economy, its businesses would generously benefit from having 21st century passenger trains as an option in travel decisions. In fact, it is my guess that at some point, it could be difficult to get a reservation on one of these trains. The new Iowa Pacific Hoosier State line from Indianapolis to Chicago, via Crawfordsville, Lafayette, Renssalaer and Dyer is often sold out.
 

rogers55

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Just got off the Hoosier State in CHI. Refurbed cars, WiFi that works and dining car with real china. Operating crew is Amtrak, equipment and support crew are Iowa & Pacific. Getting on an orange and brown train was a little strange.
 

neroden

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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.
Well, indeed, the best way to go forward would be a clear slot 7 days a week for the Hoosier State and a different clear slot 7 days a week for a daily Cardinal. But that would make too much sense, right?
 
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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.
Well, indeed, the best way to go forward would be a clear slot 7 days a week for the Hoosier State and a different clear slot 7 days a week for a daily Cardinal. But that would make too much sense, right?
Assuming the Cardinal remains near the times it is now (6:00am leave IND and 11:50pm arrive IND) and the Hoosier State is scheduled at more friendly times between CHI and IND, then almost everyone between CHI and IND will rather take the Hoosier State.

The most popular city pair for the Cardinal now? CHI-IND. For the three days the Hoosier State doesn't run, that's their only choice. If they had a choice I'd imagine they'd take a better scheduled train. The second most popular pair on the Cardinal? Chicago to Lafayette. 35.6% of Cardinal passengers travel less than 200 miles. This includes the city pairs of Chicago with Indy, Lafayette, and Crawfordsville which are all in the top nine city pairs listed. The only city pair in the top nine not included is the Charlottesville to Washington DC pair.

In the Cardinal PRIIA, the plan was once the daily Cardinal was running the Hoosier State would have been eliminated.

http://www.amtrak.com/ccurl/536/878/PRIIA-210-Cardinal-PIP.pdf

If the Cardinal and Hoosier State were split, I would imagine the Cardinal's daily ridership would plummet without passengers traveling between CHI-IND only. Even if you believe daily service would double the current ridership, you would have to double a smaller number than the 107,391 passengers last year. If the Cardinal and Hoosier State were separate, I'd probably estimate around 150,000 passengers.

http://www.narprail.org/site/assets/files/1038/trains_2014.pdf

If All Aboard Ohio actually succeeds in getting the Hoosier State to Cincinnati and those passengers leave the Cardinal, good luck getting 120,000 a year even with daily operation.

http://allaboardohio.org/hoosier/

How low would the Cardinal have to go before Amtrak finally pulls the plug?

By all means, full speed ahead for more Hoosier State!
 
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neroden

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If the Cardinal and Hoosier State were split, I would imagine the Cardinal's daily ridership would plummet without passengers traveling between CHI-IND only.
You are dead wrong, PhillyAmtrakFan, because you haven't analyzed the way the market for train service actually works.
When you have *two* daily trains, as long as they're on substantially different schedules and both in the daytime, people take one out and the other back.

A daily Hoosier State on a schedule to leave IND in the morning and arrive IND in the evening would BENEFIT the Cardinal (which leaves IND in the evening and arrives in the morning). If the schedules were tweaked appropriately and made somewhat faster, people would take one train out and the other train back.

Make the Cardinal daily (by itself), you get 7/3 as much ridership, minimum: that's 2.3 times as much. This isn't disputable, this change is documented from previous 'experiments' Amtrak has done; it's usually more than that..

Then add a Hoosier State on the 'opposite' schedule from Indianapolis to Chicago. Joint Hoosier State-Cardinal ridership on the Indianapolis-Chicago corridor would likely be 2x as high as for one train a day, meaning that the Cardinal would have the same number of riders. Even if ridership was only 1.5 times as high for two trains a day as for one train a day (and this is the minimum improvement which has ever been seen when this change was made), that is only a reduction of 25% on the Cardinal's IND-CHI ridership (only), and that's relative to the new (2.3x as high) baseline.

Think about it. If there were a morning train and an evening train from Indianpolis to Chicago each way, the ridership on *both* trains benefits.

The benefits of a more frequent schedule are that they cause people to take the train who would not have considered it because of scheduling. Going from less-than-daily to daily adds a huge number of potential passengers, and going from daily to twice-daily adds a very large number of potential passengers. Going to higher frequencies continues to add more passengers, though the returns diminish.

Another way to look at this: a daily Cardinal will mean 7/3 as much ridership on the IND-NYP section, while a twice-daily Cardinal and Hoosier State will mean 1.5x-2x as much ridership on the shared IND-CHI section. Costs increase by one trainset for the Cardinal, and none at all (more hours but no more trainsets) for the Hoosier State. This is a win-win.
 
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Palmetto

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I think that all we have to do is look at what happened to ridership in Illinois when their routes doubled the number of trains to Carbondale and Quincy. Big, big, increases. It's a pretty sure bet that numbers would jump pretty high if CHI-IND became a corridor [5 trains + daily].
 
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In the case of the Cardinal/Hoosier State, you're saying one train is 6-10:05am IND-CHI and 5:45-11:50pm CHI-IND and the other would be assumedly be at friendlier times. Why would anyone want to leave at 6am or arrive at 11:50pm if they have a choice? Of course now they don't have a choice and they have to take the lousy times. Will more people travel between CHI-IND if the Hoosier State schedule was better? Absolutely. If two trains were at good times you can see both filling up. But with these two schedules you're absolutely telling everyone to take the Hoosier State between CHI-IND (maybe the Cardinal would still be reasonable for CHI to Lafayette).

I have actually suggested in another post of switching the Cardinal schedules (http://discuss.amtraktrains.com/index.php?/topic/66111-cardinal-st-louis-connection/) so the train doesn't arrive/leave IND near the ends of the day and instead arrives/leaves in Cincinnati around those times. Want to go from IND to the NEC? You can leave during the early evening instead of 11:59pm. You can get back to IND in the middle of the morning instead of 6:00am.
 

Ryan

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In the case of the Cardinal/Hoosier State, you're saying one train is 6-10:05am IND-CHI and 5:45-11:50pm CHI-IND and the other would be assumedly be at friendlier times. Why would anyone want to leave at 6am or arrive at 11:50pm if they have a choice?
Because they need or want to be in Chicago in the morning, or leave in the late afternoon? Seems kind of obvious to me.

That's the awesome thing about multiple trains a day. You can sleep in and not get to CHI until the afternoon, and I'll have already had several hours in the city to get stuff done. Choice is an amazing thing.
 

jis

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More precisely it is bracketed on one side by arrival and departure times at New York and at the other end with arrival and departure that does not break connection to western trains.
 

Ryan

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The Hoosier State is... Complicated.. It depends on what you mean by "run it".

If you mean actually operate it, like the engineer and the conductor, Amtrak runs it.

If you mean sell tickets for it, that's Amtrak too.

If you mean who provides the equipment, that's Iowa Pacific.

If you mean who pays the bills for it, that's the state of Indiana.
 

jis

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I wish the timetable mentioned the differences in equipment.
In days of yore providing details of equipment used to be the norm. I wonder why that has fallen by the wayside. Perhaps it has happened because of the lack of variety and also the inability to guarantee specific equipment in type and number due to equipment shortage?
 

Eric S

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Looks like it just gets the standard message that it is financed by funds from the state of IN - like all state-supported trains. Wouldn't be too hard to put some sort of mention about equipment being provided by Iowa Pacific, although I guess that would be almost meaningless to most people.
 
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