The Indiana Department of Transportation says it has begun negotiations with Amtrak over continuing passenger rail service four days per week between Indianapolis and Chicago.
Amtrak has said it won‘t end service with states holding good-faith contract negotiations on October 1. Congress voted in 2008 to end federal support for Amtrak routes of less than 750 miles.
At least seven of the 19 states affected have signed operating agreements. Indiana must come up with 3-point-1 million dollars annually to replace the funds Congress eliminated.
Beech Grove has the most at stake. Mayor Dennis Buckley says Amtrak provides between 49 million and 61 million in economic impact. He‘s concerned those jobs could be discontinued if Amtrak service through Indianapolis becomes less frequent.
That would make it harder for Amtrak to deliver the cars in need of repair to Beech Grove. Indiana transportation officials have met lawmakers, mayors and other local officials to discuss ways to keep the Hoosier State Line running.
The line with stops in Crawfordsville, Lafayette, Rensselaer and Dyer carried 37,000 passengers last year.