Amtrak Service Reductions Take Effect In Indiana

Oct 9, 2020

Credit (Adam Pinsker, WFIU/WTIU News)

The passenger rail line announced a reduction in service for several long distance routes, including two that run through Indiana.

Amtrak officials say the cuts became necessary after funding under CARES Act, which passed on March 27th, ran out.

Effective this week, Amtrak is reducing service on the Capitol Limited and Lakeshore Limited from 7 to 3 days a week.

Both routes travel through Ft. Wayne, Waterloo near Elkhart, and South Bend.

The Capitol Limited originates in Washington, D.C. and ends in Chicago, while the Lake Shore runs from Boston to Chicago.

Travelers can connect to points west and south from Chicago’s Union Station.

A spokesperson for Representative Andre Carson (D-Indianapolis) says the House approved 10 billion dollars in funding to restore these Amtrak cuts, but the bill is still pending in the Senate.

In a letter to Congress, Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn warned the rail line may be forced to furlough 2,400 employees if sufficient funding levels aren’t restored.

An Amtrak spokesperson says so far, no layoffs are planned for Amtrak’s maintenance shop in Indianapolis, which is the largest such facility in the country.

In 2019, Amtrak reduced service between Indianapolis and Chicago and Indianapolis and D.C. when Governor Eric Holcomb eliminated state matching funds from the budget.