Train service to Chicago is growing

Deonta Larkins

 INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosiers traveling to Chicago by train will have more and faster service as ridership and revenues continue to grow.

Amtrak and the Indiana Department of Transportation announced a new schedule for service between Indianapolis and Chicago. The new schedule for the Hoosier State, which operates four days weekly, is also reflected in the schedule for the Amtrak Cardinal.

Together, the Hoosier State and the Cardinal provide daily service between Indianapolis and Chicago with intermediate stops at Dyer, Rensselaer, Lafayette and Crawfordsville. Previously, booked customers were notified of the changes.

Amtrak operates the Hoosier State under contract with INDOT with a unique partnership of state and local funding. The Indiana General Assembly included $3 million per year for the Hoosier State in the two-year state budget, which was signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb and goes into effect July 1.

Will Wingfield, spokesperson for the Indiana Department of Transportation, said the interest of the community is what really made plans continue for the train line.

“INDOT’s role is to continue to bring attention to the service provided and improvement,” said Wingfield, referring to the schedule improvement for the southbound and northbound trains.

According to the Amtrak Passenger Service Notice, the southbound Hoosier State is scheduled to depart earlier from its intermediate stops and arrive 11 minutes earlier into Indianapolis. The northbound Hoosier State is scheduled to arrive five minutes earlier in Chicago.

The Hoosier State train transitioned to modern Amtrak railcars and locomotives on March 1. Both ridership and revenue rose in March and April, with ridership up double-digits in both months and revenue also up versus year-ago levels.

Amtrak employs more than 700 Indiana residents, with more than 500 Hoosiers at the railroad’s principal heavy maintenance facility in Beech Grove. The Hoosier State train is often used to bring railcars and locomotives to the plant southeast of Indianapolis and to take them to Chicago.

Contact Amtrak customer service, at or 1-800-USA-Rail for tickets and any further questions.

Deonta Larkins is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalist students.

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