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Hoosier State/Iowa Pacific Transition Thread

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MrFSS

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Things moving along.

Iowa Pacific equipment to be used for new Hoosier State service is moving from Chicago area to Wisconsin and Southern paint shop at Horicon, WI

 
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grover5995

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In order to run 12 trains a day, Indiana will have to purchase the route from CSX, and spend tons of money to double track it, signalize it and increase speeds. ...
Why would Indiana have to purchase the route?
The St Louis-Chicago 110-mph upgrades for Lincoln Service are being done on a route owned by Union Pacific. Did I miss a whispered mention that the UP is going to go away, or that Illinois will try to buy the line? I don't think so. Doubletracking will be needed there in the next round of investment, but UP will own the underlying land.

Even the South of the Lake (SOTL) project to speed trains Detroit-Chicago thru Indiana will probably be a dedicated 110-mph passenger only track. The route has not been selected yet, but the options are to build all or almost all on existing freight R-O-W, from Chicago to Porter. There the Michigan trains peel off onto the existing 110-mph stretch toward Kalamazoo and Detroit. The Norfolk Southern main line, with the Lake Shore and Capitol Ltd., heads toward Cleveland and points east. So somebody's gonna spend about $1.5 Billion on SOTL, but the freights are gonna own the land.

South of the Lake will also speed trains from Union Station to a place in Indiana, but before Porter, where the Cardinal and Hoosier State will one day make a right turn down to Indianapolis. This project could cut 20 or 30 minutes off the trip time of the Hoosier State and the Cardinal.

Meanwhile, the State of Indiana paid consultants for a study of the Hoosier State.

http://www.in.gov/indot/files/Amtrak_CostBenefitAnalysis_2013.pdf

It's a lousy study that totally ignored any impact on the Cardinal, LOL, and ignored any dollar value of lives lost to highway traffic that could be avoided with better train service, etc. But it did identify about $200 million worth of upgrades within Indiana alone that would chop about 30 minutes off the run time. With two long new sidings just north of Indianapolis and other stuff, the majority of those upgrades should work well with a new connection (SOTL) into Chicago.

Of course, the study indicated that adding one or two more frequencies on a faster trip would double or triple ridership. Currently the Cardinal/Hoosier State leaves Indianapolis at 6 a.m. and arrives Chicago at 10 a.m., a 5-hour trip with damn early wake-up call and a tardy, half-day-lost arrival in the Windy City. Getting to Union Station at 9:30 a.m. would be better, arriving 9 a.m. would be much better. And for us sleepyheads, another departure at 7:30 and another at 10 a.m. would be great.

I'm kind of with the Indiana politicians who don't want to sink $200 million into upgrades to get only one or two more trains each way. Certainly not without a lot of those hated federal dollars. LOL.

But if Iowa Pacific gets ready to run 12 trains a day, then an investment of $200 to $500 million by somebody could be a good deal. For Amtrak, for a daily Cardinal, and for connecting trains at the Chicago hub, shaving an hour or so off Cincinnati-Indianapolis-Chicago (and sharing some costs as well) would be sweet broadus.

Now we only need a federal program to invest a few Billion into various routes and projects like SOTL and upgrading the Hoosier State route, and then watch ridership soar.
Where's this "right turn" that passenger trains would take off the South the Lake line to Indianapolis? Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) has plans to reopen the former Monon Route from Dyer north through Munster to Hammond and a connection to the current South Shore, so I guess Amtrak could use that, but that has nothing to do with the South of the Lake route.

I don't think Iowa Pacific has $200 to $500 million dollars to implement those 12 trains a day. That will have to come from Indiana or the feds.

It's amazing Indiana is even coming up with $3 million for the Hoosier State. That's a long way from $200 to $500 million.

Illinois should have bought the Chicago-St. Louis line when it was owned by the Chicago, Missouri and Western. It could have been picked up for a song. Now UP has a big intermodal yard south of Joliet and is running more freight than ever on the former GM&O. Right now, the agreement with UP calls for only three trains in each direction to run at 110 mph. After taking all of Illinois' money, UP might not want to expand passenger service to say, hourly operation, because its intermodals will be delayed.

But I'm sure CSX will be happy to cooperate with expanded Chi-Indy service, just like they do everywhere else. (That's sarcasm, folks)
In order to run 12 trains a day, Indiana will have to purchase the route from CSX, and spend tons of money to double track it, signalize it and increase speeds. ...
Why would Indiana have to purchase the route?
The St Louis-Chicago 110-mph upgrades for Lincoln Service are being done on a route owned by Union Pacific. Did I miss a whispered mention that the UP is going to go away, or that Illinois will try to buy the line? I don't think so. Doubletracking will be needed there in the next round of investment, but UP will own the underlying land.

Even the South of the Lake (SOTL) project to speed trains Detroit-Chicago thru Indiana will probably be a dedicated 110-mph passenger only track. The route has not been selected yet, but the options are to build all or almost all on existing freight R-O-W, from Chicago to Porter. There the Michigan trains peel off onto the existing 110-mph stretch toward Kalamazoo and Detroit. The Norfolk Southern main line, with the Lake Shore and Capitol Ltd., heads toward Cleveland and points east. So somebody's gonna spend about $1.5 Billion on SOTL, but the freights are gonna own the land.

South of the Lake will also speed trains from Union Station to a place in Indiana, but before Porter, where the Cardinal and Hoosier State will one day make a right turn down to Indianapolis. This project could cut 20 or 30 minutes off the trip time of the Hoosier State and the Cardinal.

Meanwhile, the State of Indiana paid consultants for a study of the Hoosier State.

http://www.in.gov/indot/files/Amtrak_CostBenefitAnalysis_2013.pdf

It's a lousy study that totally ignored any impact on the Cardinal, LOL, and ignored any dollar value of lives lost to highway traffic that could be avoided with better train service, etc. But it did identify about $200 million worth of upgrades within Indiana alone that would chop about 30 minutes off the run time. With two long new sidings just north of Indianapolis and other stuff, the majority of those upgrades should work well with a new connection (SOTL) into Chicago.

Of course, the study indicated that adding one or two more frequencies on a faster trip would double or triple ridership. Currently the Cardinal/Hoosier State leaves Indianapolis at 6 a.m. and arrives Chicago at 10 a.m., a 5-hour trip with damn early wake-up call and a tardy, half-day-lost arrival in the Windy City. Getting to Union Station at 9:30 a.m. would be better, arriving 9 a.m. would be much better. And for us sleepyheads, another departure at 7:30 and another at 10 a.m. would be great.

I'm kind of with the Indiana politicians who don't want to sink $200 million into upgrades to get only one or two more trains each way. Certainly not without a lot of those hated federal dollars. LOL.

But if Iowa Pacific gets ready to run 12 trains a day, then an investment of $200 to $500 million by somebody could be a good deal. For Amtrak, for a daily Cardinal, and for connecting trains at the Chicago hub, shaving an hour or so off Cincinnati-Indianapolis-Chicago (and sharing some costs as well) would be sweet broadus.

Now we only need a federal program to invest a few Billion into various routes and projects like SOTL and upgrading the Hoosier State route, and then watch ridership soar.
Where's this "right turn" that passenger trains would take off the South the Lake line to Indianapolis? Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) has plans to reopen the former Monon Route from Dyer north through Munster to Hammond and a connection to the current South Shore, so I guess Amtrak could use that, but that has nothing to do with the South of the Lake route.

But I'm sure CSX will be happy to cooperate with expanded Chi-Indy service, just like they do everywhere else. (That's sarcasm, folks)
Future plans call for Hoosier State to head east on former Pennsylvania line through Valparaiso and turn south at Wanatah. The first 30 miles are inactive but can easily be restored. This route would serve an additional college town and re-join the current route at Monon. There is also a privately-funded passenger route proposed between Chicago and Columbus, OH that would use the former Broadway Limited route for much of the way.
 

MrFSS

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Word on the Indiana Rail Forum is that the Iowa Pacific train "followed" the HS Amtrak train from Chicago to Indy last night. But, they say it had HEP problems and ended up being 2-3 hours late getting to Indy. not a good start!
 

MrFSS

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A friend on the Indiana Rail Forum gave me permission to share these he took of the south and northbound test trains. Southbound ran 20 minutes behind the Amtrak and they piggy backed on the way back north for some reason.

IP 02.JPG

IP 03.JPG

IP 05.JPG
 

amtrakwolverine

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Anderson

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Any idea when the actual shift of service is going to happen? I know July 1 slipped, but are we looking at a slip of a week or two or likely something more?
 

WoodyinNYC

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LOUISVILLE & INDIANA RAILROAD AND CSX CLOSE ON JOINT INFRASTRUCTURE UPGRADE PROJECT BETWEEN INDIANAPOLIS AND LOUISVILLE

$100 million infrastructure investment ...

CHICAGO, Ill. and JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – June 19, 2015 – Louisville & Indiana Railroad (L&I), a subsidiary of Anacostia Rail Holdings, and CSX today announced the completion of an agreement that grants CSX a permanent easement to operate over the L&I’s 106-mile rail corridor between Indianapolis and Louisville.

In addition to CSX’s $10 million easement purchase, the two companies finalized an operating agreement that provides for an additional $90 million in infrastructure upgrades over the next several years to improve the track structure and right of way along this key freight route. ...

“CSX’s investment of approximately $100 million will provide enhanced rail access for the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville, increase capacity and efficiency along this corridor ...,” said Oscar Munoz, president and chief operating officer, CSX Corporation. “These critical infrastructure improvements include the installation of new rail, upgrades to the rail bed structure and bridge improvements to enhance safety and service ...”

Over the next several months, 20 miles of new rail will be installed along the southern portion of the line. … (emphasis added)

“Since 2011, both L&I and CSX have coordinated with state and local officials to discuss the upgrade of the line ...” said John Goldman, president, Louisville & Indiana Railroad. ...

About L&I
The Louisville & Indiana Railroad is based in Jeffersonville, Indiana and has approximately 40 employees. L&I acquired its 106-mile line from Consolidated Rail Corporation and began operations in 1994. The railroad operates a former main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

---------------------

Perhaps slightly off-topic, but please excuse. (Corporate press release, so reprint constitutes fair use.)

Not trying to make CSX regret the decision, LOL, but seems this development could bring forward passenger service on this route from, say, 15 years out to only 10 years out. Any Louisville-Indy trains would become part of the service to Chicago, and there feed traffic to the other Midwest hub trains and to Amtrak's LD trains.

This upgrade will also bring forward a revived route Chicago-Miami, from, say, 20 years out to 15 years out.

If I'm wrong, I'll probably be dead by then, so I can now fearlessly make these forecasts. :giggle:
 
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ruck

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Lafayette's NPR affiliate posted this

http://wbaa.org/post/hoosier-state-line-clock-running-even-if-new-trains-arent

sounds like getting three different entities Amtrak, Iowa Pacific, INDOT to play nice with each other is the issue.

State Representative Randy Truitt (R-West Lafayette), who lobbied successfully for more state funding for the train, says a rocky relationship between Amtrak and Iowa Pacific isn’t helping the timetable.

“You’ve got Amtrak involved, that’s not really part of the operating side of the equation. You’ve got Iowa Pacific that is involved. I think there’s a little bit of bad blood potentially in there from that standpoint, even though they didn’t participate in the bidding process when it first started,” Truitt says.

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis agrees. He went to Washington, D.C. to talk with Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman and says Boardman was tempered in his enthusiasm for the new agreement.

“Everybody is enthusiastic about continuing this service – that’s what’s so ironic," Dennis says. "Everybody wants this to happen. But Joe also brought up the fact that he said ‘Hey guys, remember – we’re basically asked to subsidize our competitors on our rails.’”
INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield says it’s minor details.

“What remains are very somewhat wonky things like certifying the potable water source that will be used on the train,” Wingfield says.
 

Anderson

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I'd be a lot more sympathetic to Boardman's point (I'm not wholly unsympathetic to it, to be fair) if Amtrak had even put in a fig leaf bid (though I'm trying to recall if they were actively barred from doing so; even still, they could probably have issued what I can only call a "non-bid bid"). The feeling I have, frankly, is that Amtrak didn't even try until it became clear that something might actually happen (on the heels of a few decades of not-good relations with Indiana which included Amtrak not really wanting to work with Indiana on service improvements...I think the Business Class experiment from a few months back was something Indiana wanted a decade or two ago) and that they might actually lose the contract.

Of course, you know what else this reminds me of? The whole affair when Amtrak lost the VRE contract and tried to throw VRE out of Union Station in DC in response.
 

PaulM

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But Joe also brought up the fact that he said ‘Hey guys, remember – we’re basically asked to subsidize our competitors on our rails.’”
I'm not following this; and not just because Amtrak obviously doesn't own the rails in Indiana. How and why would Amtrak be subsidizing who? If Indiana is low balling IP and IP, in turn, is low balling Amtrak, why does Amtrak have to agree?
 

Ryan

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Amtrak is operating the trains for IP. They may be able to tell Amtrak to get lost and hire/qualify their own crews, but that would take even more time.
 

jis

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Amtrak is operating the trains for IP. They may be able to tell Amtrak to get lost and hire/qualify their own crews, but that would take even more time.
Or they could hire Bombardier or Keolis or whoever else to run the trains for them. It is not like Amtrak has monopoly on running trains. The added complication would be getting agreement from CSX for such a move.

I suppose Joe is talking about Union Station, which is the only thing that is "our rails" for him in this whole saga. But Amtrak's own credibility of accounting for anything is so low, that any claim of Amtrak subsidizing someone needs to be taken with a large dollop of salt IMHO.
 
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