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Hoosier State Line service extended 30 days

INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) – The Hoosier State Line is getting a one month reprieve before possibly closing down for good.

As WISH-TV sister station WLFI News 18 reported last Friday, the passenger rail line between Indianapolis and Chicago was going to end after April 1 due to a requirement from the Federal Railroad Administration.

The FRA issued a requirement that Indiana take responsibility for all in-state railroads, though the Indiana Department of Transportation does not own any tracks or trains. Officials said the switch in liability means keeping the rail service going was no longer cost effective.

But after a phone call between INDOT Commissioner Karl Browning and FRA Acting Administrator Sarah Feinberg, the FRA agreed to reconsider its position – keeping the Hoosier State Line operating through the end of April.

Browning said however, it is not clear if the FRA will change its mind.

“Because Ms. Feinberg committed to reviewing this, we want to give the FRA another opportunity to consider the problems Indiana has been airing,” Browning said in a release.

Over the course of the last year, local and state leaders have been working to save the rail line. INDOT has also been working to save the Hoosier State Line and has been making progress in negotiating long-term agreements with two experienced passenger rail providers – Amtrak and Iowa Pacific Holdings.