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Indiana proposed budget zeros out Hoosier State funding

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There was significant expansion of the State Supported route system during the Claytor years. AFAICT nothing new that was truly significant, happened in the LD network. There was continued improvements on the NEC that were already in the pipeline when Claytor started. He was able to hold the proposed Reagan cuts at bay.

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1 hour ago, Amtrak706 said:

Amtrak today somehow has what seems to be actual support (and record funding) from Congress. But we have Anderson and Gardner, so cost cutting, careless disposal of institutional knowledge, pointless wheel-reinvention, and all kinds of other mismanagement is the name of the game.

It is also possible that Amtrak received record funding knowing Richard Anderson was going to slash, burn, cost cut and maybe even pare down service....which is something a lot of people in Congress have mentioned they wanted.  Maybe they think he will be a better custodian of the federal funds.

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On 1/10/2019 at 10:30 PM, Thirdrail7 said:

It certainly doesn't help that it takes an hour to travel from Chi to the first stop, which is 29 miles away. I suppose things have gotten better. After all, it used to take an hour and fifteen minutes. If memory serves, it travel on 4 different railroads between CHI-DYE, correct?

Unless things changed recently (I know there was talk about some railroad ownership realignment in the area, but don’t know what happened to it), it’s actually seven different railroads.

Start out on Amtrak (1) out of Union Station to 21st St, switch to NS (2), take NS down a bit, switch over to Metra-owned (3) track (route the Southwest Service uses), back to NS for a bit, then onto the Belt Railway of Chicago (4; IIRC, that one still required dialing up the dispatcher and getting track warrants), then onto the UP (5), connecting to the CN (6), then finally CSX (7).  A now-former Amtrak high-level management person in Chicago was pushing for a mostly CN routing that would have the train take the former IC corridor (same as City of New Orleans/southern IL state trains) directly to the last CN segment.  The connection between those two segments is currently hand-throw switches, and nobody seemed to give enough of a damn to pay for powering them up.

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I wondered why CSX to CN to Union Station wasn't being used.  It seems like the logical route compared to it's current routing. It seems like it would be more reliable and faster than the current stop & eventually go time consuming path taken.

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Absent a plan to improve CHI-IND service (reduced travel times, increased frequencies), I can certainly understand the reluctance of the governor and/or legislators to continue funding the existing train.

Of course, it is the State of Indiana that needs to be studying the implementing such a plan to improve service and IN has hardly demonstrated a significant willingness to improve intercity (or local and regional) rail service in the past.

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I hope the service gets preserved. I do think actually the easiest thing to do is to improve the speed outside of Chicago to regular 79mph track most of the way to Indy. I understand why people like to concentrate on the first few miles out of the station and that is an issue but  the fact that it is all 60mph or less on CSX if I understand it would be easier to fix and give you a good time savings.

An hour or so later departure from Indy would also still have all the connections  and give a more passenger friendly time to would be a simple improvement.

Also as far as the route out of Chicago, from Union Station through NS and Metra is the regular Metra Southwest service route and is fine currently for passenger  speed and the short section on the BRC is no issue in my experience.

After that is the issue. The part on the UP past a railyard is slower than it should be.  

I also have never heard of crossing different railroads and needing different bulletins to be much of an issue except in railfan circles.

But yes It would be cool if it came into town on a faster route like the CN. 

Of course the best solution would be to improve the long stretch in Indiana on CSX to 80mph and also the route into Chicago too and then increase frequencies. But in the meantime I hope they just preserve what is there

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