News release from the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association (NIPRA):
NIPRA Resolution Supports “Hoosier State” Passenger Rail Service
(February 16, 2015) – The Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association, Inc (NIPRA) has circulated a resolution in support of HB 1217, authored by Representative Randy Truitt (R-District 26) and calls upon Representatives and Senators representing Northeast Indiana to support the legislation. The bill is co-authored by Representative David Niezgodski (D-District 7) and by Representative Doug Gutwein (R-District 16).
HB 1217 annually appropriates $3 million from the state general fund to the department of transportation to carry out an agreement with the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK) to provide intercity railroad passenger service between Indianapolis and Chicago.
Under the provisions of Section 209 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) of 2008, all short-distance Amtrak corridor services must become state-supported routes, with states assuming the proportional costs associated with their respective corridor operations. At least 27 routes through 23 states and the District of Columbia are affected by this provision of PRIIA,, and have arranged to share in the costs of operating these routes.
NIPRA, Inc. is a non-profit organization representing a network of over 2,100 individuals and allied organizations dedicated to bringing rejuvenated passenger and freight rail service to Northeast Indiana, with the intent to secure the benefits of a stronger economy, enhanced security, a cleaner environment, and a better quality of life for the citizens of Northeast Indiana. The National Association of Railroad Passengers, a nationwide organization of over 25,000 members, and with the Indiana Passenger Rail Alliance, an organization composed of Indiana citizens and train riders have also endorsed HB 1217.
NIPRA spokesman Geoffrey Paddock noted the current agreement with Amtrak is due to expire at the end of the first quarter, and urged all parties to work to ensure uninterrupted service after April 1.
“We look at HB 1217 as a cooperative model which may serve as a viable template for restoring rail service to Northeast Indiana, and possibly to other parts of the State, as well,” said Paddock.