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Indiana, private carrier ink deal for passenger rail

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indiana Department of Transportation says four-days-per-week passenger rail service between Chicago and Indianapolis has begun under a two-year contract with Amtrak and Iowa Pacific Holdings.

INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield says round-trip service began Sunday morning on the Hoosier State train, which departs Indianapolis at 6 a.m. EDT and arrives in Chicago about 10 a.m. CDT.

He says INDOT initially anticipates paying Iowa Pacific about $255,000 per month and the communities of Crawfordsville, Lafayette, Rensselaer, Tippecanoe County and West Lafayette would pay a combined $21,000 per month. The contracts continue through June 30, 2017, with the state having the option to extend the deal up to four additional years.

The deal also calls for INDOT to receive 25 percent of Iowa Pacific’s operating profits for the Hoosier State.