U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly is continuing comments on the operation of the Hoosier State Line.
The four-day per week train between Indianapolis and Chicago was initially anticipated to cease service on April 1st of this year. That announcement came after a Federal Railroad Administration decision that would require Indiana to serve as a railroad carrier.
Donnelly says he doesn’t have any guarantees this won’t turn into a standoff between the FRA and INDOT.
“I would hope that if everybody goes into a room in good faith that we should be able to solve this problem,” says Donnelly.
The state does not own any tracks or trains.
INDOT Commissioner Karl Browning says the FRA interpretation move will only increase costs and liabilities. Indiana has been working for a year to improve the Hoosier State Line.
Donnelly and U.S. Senator Dan Coats have both sent letters requesting the FRA reconsider their decision. Donnelly says there’s plenty of time to find a solution.
“These are certainly not insurmountable, there’s just a few things to get through, and we ought to be able to do it in the time allotted,” says Donnelly.
Donnelly has a limited capacity to aid in the situation, but said he would be willing to assist if asked by the two agencies.
INDOT officials do not believe the FRA will change its mind at this point.
State Line service will continue through the end of April while additional considerations are being made.