INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — For the first time in 20 years there will no longer be a daily train service from Indianapolis to Chicago.
Sunday, Amtrak’s Hoosier State line will take its last ride to and from Chicago.
Train 851 departed Indianapolis Union Station at 6 a.m. Sunday. It will return to the station for the final time Sunday night.
The halt in the train’s running is due to state lawmakers’ decision to not include funding for the line in the new budget.
Under a 2008 federal law, services like the Hoosier State line require state sponsorship. Without funding, it can’t operate.
The Hoosier State line began in 1980. Since then, the line has been suspended and reinstated several times.
Sunday marks the first time since 1999 Indianapolis will be without daily Amtrak service to and from Chicago.
Amtrak’s Cardinal line will continue to run three days a week through Central Indiana, and Amtrak says they plan to increase the number of buses.
Still, advocates for the Hoosier State line worry that without it congestion on I-65 will increase, saying the train is an economical alternative to driving.
State Senator Ron Alting said he believes a replacement for the line will be found in the fall, but the initiative will first need the support of Governor Eric Holcomb.
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