On January 15 NIPRA circulated an article from the Lafayette Journal & Courier highlighting progress in formulating an agreement between the State of Indiana and Amtrak to keep and improve the Hoosier State passenger rail service between Chicago and Indianapolis.

As West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said, “Our hope is to spur INDOT to treat passenger rail with the same consideration they give our highways and bridges.”  Certainly, passenger rail is a critical piece of the transportation infrastructure needed to back up Indiana’s claim to the title Crossroads of America.

The Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association calls upon State legislators and other elected officials representing Northeast, North Central, and Northwest Indiana to support Representative Randy Truitt’s House Bill 1217, which would allow the State to appropriate $3 million annually to enable INDOT to provide Hoosier State rail service between Indianapolis and Chicago.

Why is this important to Northern Indiana cities, towns, and counties?  Because the agreement between Indiana and Amtrak for the Hoosier State could establish a template upon which passenger rail service from Fort Wayne, through Warsaw, Plymouth, Valparaiso, and Gary could be restored to and from Chicago.

Rail advocates in Ohio, also, are watching closely as the Hoosier State agreement comes together.  Cincinnati business and planning groups have expressed support for improving and expanding passenger rail service through Indianapolis to and from Chicago.  They see the Hoosier State service as a key part of the move to expand intercity passenger rail.  See the Cincinnati Business Courier‘s article January 15 at  http://t.co/FNvh1kyBNc .

It’s important to contact your Indiana Legislators to express your support for H.B. 1217.  The following link will help you identify and contact your legislator (or call 1-800-382-9467 to reach your Senator; or 1-800-382-9841 / 9842 to reach your Representative.

https://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/

Likewise, Governor Pence’s office needs to know how you feel.  To contact the Governor, go to http://www.in.gov/gov/2333.htm , or call Chief of Staff Jim Atterholt at 317-232-1800.

We will keep you up to date on developments.  In the meantime, YOUR SUPPORT for HOUSE BILL 1217 is ESSENTIAL!