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Passenger Trains > Indiana Governor's budget zeroes out Hoosier State


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Date: 01/11/19 12:09
Indiana Governor's budget zeroes out Hoosier State
Author: GenePoon




Date: 01/11/19 12:26
Re: Indiana Governor's budget zeroes out Hoosier State
Author: raillady

Video doesn't say anything about the Hoosier State.  More about mental health issues and resources for school and colleges.  I think it would be great for a commuter train from Indianapolis to Chicago.  As a former native of the Hoosier State, I can understand their issues, let's say I'm rather disappointed.

Raillady
West Sacramento



Date: 01/11/19 13:28
Re: Indiana Governor's budget zeroes out Hoosier State
Author: 79mph

This is pretty much an every other year thing (Indiana has a two year budget cycle).
The amount of money is chicken feed, but it is a Republican platform thing, along with eliminating women's healthcare and public broadcasting.
Priorities of the state legislature are elsewhere, such as paying airlines to put in non-stops to the west coast, and subsidizing immigrant companies to build new facilities and import Hindu workers to Indianapolis.
Pouring more millions into the jobs-exported-to-Mexico Highway (Interstate 69) is also a top priority. 



Date: 01/11/19 13:54
Re: Indiana Governor's budget zeroes out Hoosier State
Author: ProAmtrak

Typical blind idiot who doesn't think rail is part of a balanced transportation system, on a side note Amtrak should put the Hooiser back on a seperate schedule, what's worng with doing that giving people more options!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/19 20:52 by ProAmtrak.



Date: 01/11/19 15:03
Re: Indiana Governor's budget zeroes out Hoosier State
Author: calumet

Here's a snippet from an Indy newspaper article:

The budget cuts a $3 million annual subsidy for the Hoosier State Train.
If the budget cut is approved, state money for the train would run out June 30. Officials from the Indiana Department of Transportation say they would work with Amtrak to schedule an ending date for the service.
Micah Vincent, director of the state Office of Management and Budget, said ridership is not high enough and is not growing quickly enough to justify the subsidy.

The future of the train has been unclear for years due to its many challenges, including slow speeds and infrequency. In 2017, Amtrak took over operation of the train from Iowa Pacific Holdings, which wanted a larger subsidy.
The train is funded mostly by INDOT, with another $500,000 or so from Lafayette, West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, Crawfordsville and Rensselaer.

The service could be saved if lawmakers have the will to do it.
House and Senate Republican leaders said they planned to talk over whether to continue funding the train as the session progresses.



Date: 01/11/19 15:04
Re: Indiana Governor's budget zeroes out Hoosier State
Author: PC1974

While Amtrak has restricted publishing of statistics that may appear negative on their web site, the FRA hasn't yet been politicized in this area.  In the FRA's 2nd Quarter report for FY18, Table 2(B) shows Amtrak's percentage of fully allocated operatings costs covered by passenger related service (Excluding State Revenue).

The percentage for the Hoosier State Train?  Twenty-Two Percent (22%)  It's the lowest of any corridor (PRIIA) train.  Wondering what the percentage is for the Cardinal?  Thirty-Four Percent (34%) with only the Sunset has a lower number. 

Taking a One Dollar BIll and throwing 78 cents in the gutter won't keep a business open very long.  Looks like Indiana woke and smelled the roses.  Link to entire report attached, well worth reading...

FRA Report - FY18Q2 - Complete:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qU0d-rC3GANUB97d21pf3z-ctQ97MUjK/view?usp=sharing



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/19 15:09 by PC1974.



Date: 01/11/19 15:21
Re: Indiana Governor's budget zeroes out Hoosier State
Author: cabsignaldrop

On Amtrak day '71, Indianapolis made out better than many cities did. Indianapolis had 3 daily long distance trains, the South Wind/Floridian, the National Limited and the James Whitcomb Riley. These were all part of the original Amtrak route structure.

Shame to think 50/51 might soon be all that is left. It did happen briefly in the late 90s, but Amtrak reinstated 850/851 soon after due to CSX's poor handling of Amtrak hospital trains to and from the Grove.

Posted from Android



Date: 01/11/19 15:56
Re: Indiana Governor's budget zeroes out Hoosier State
Author: ts1457

cabsignaldrop Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> On Amtrak day '71, Indianapolis made out better
> than many cities did. Indianapolis had 3 daily
> long distance trains, the South Wind/Floridian,
> the National Limited and the James Whitcomb Riley.
> These were all part of the original Amtrak route
> structure.

Indy may have had those trains, but they ran on the Penn Central. Indy's train service was damaged goods from the start. That, unfortunately, is what happened.



Date: 01/11/19 16:04
Re: Indiana Governor's budget zeroes out Hoosier State
Author: joemvcnj

Train has had 9 lives before and keeps coming back from the brink. 



Date: 01/11/19 18:00
Re: Indiana Governor's budget zeroes out Hoosier State
Author: another_view

calumet Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Here's a snippet from an Indy newspaper article:
>
> The budget cuts a $3 million annual subsidy for
> the Hoosier State Train.
> If the budget cut is approved, state money for the
> train would run out June 30. Officials from the
> Indiana Department of Transportation say they
> would work with Amtrak to schedule an ending date
> for the service.
> Micah Vincent, director of the state Office of
> Management and Budget, said ridership is not high
> enough and is not growing quickly enough to
> justify the subsidy.
>
> The future of the train has been unclear for years
> due to its many challenges, including slow speeds
> and infrequency. In 2017, Amtrak took over
> operation of the train from Iowa Pacific Holdings,
> which wanted a larger subsidy.
> The train is funded mostly by INDOT, with another
> $500,000 or so from Lafayette, West Lafayette,
> Tippecanoe County, Crawfordsville and Rensselaer.
>
> The service could be saved if lawmakers have the
> will to do it.
> House and Senate Republican leaders said they
> planned to talk over whether to continue funding
> the train as the session progresses.


Amtrak took over from IPH because eee sold the state a bag full of bullshit just like he did when he worked for Amtrak and claimed that the Express Business would save the company but ended up losing hundreds of millions.

There are great examples of where corridor services provide a valuable and viable alternative in our transportation network, this is not one of them



Date: 01/11/19 19:15
Re: Indiana Governor's budget zeroes out Hoosier State
Author: abyler

PC1974 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> While Amtrak has restricted publishing of
> statistics that may appear negative on their web
> site, the FRA hasn't yet been politicized in this
> area.  In the FRA's 2nd Quarter report for FY18,
> Table 2(B) shows Amtrak's percentage of fully
> allocated operatings costs covered by passenger
> related service (Excluding State Revenue).
>
> FRA Report - FY18Q2 - Complete:
> https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qU0d-rC3GANUB97d2
> 1pf3z-ctQ97MUjK/view?usp=sharing

Really interesting report, thank you. Worth noting what trains do really well and which do poorly.

Day Trains
Lynchburg - 147%
Norfolk - 99%
Richmond - 100%
Carolinian - 97%
Maple Lead - 75%
Pennsylvanian - 72%
Palmetto - 87%
Vermonter - 65%
Ethan Allen - 61%

Long Distance
Auto Train - 89%

Corridor
Keystone - 78%
Hiawatha - 80%
Pacific Surfliner - 65%

Tri Weekly
Sunset Limited - 25%
Cardinal - 34%

Corridor
Hoosier State - 22%
Heartland Flyer - 26%
Illinois Zephyr - 34%
Springfield - 36%

Everything else is between 40% and 52%.

Basically there's 3 ways to success:
1) run a non-corridor day train with no diner and minimal crew as far as it can go in 12-18 hours
2) upsell the product (bring your automobile along for an extra charge)
3) run the wheels off a short distance corridor with very high frequencies and intense equipment use/short turn times

The recipe for failure is even simpler:
1) run the train tri-weekly
2) run a single frequency corridor to nowhere

You'd think you'd want to make investments towards transforming all services in the direction fo the most successful to limit the losses, and the the limitation of losses would help pay for the investments needed.



Date: 01/12/19 03:31
Re: Indiana Governor's budget zeroes out Hoosier State
Author: joemvcnj

Those percentages assume fully allocated costs. When a train vanishes, some of those remain and are redistributed among what is left. Tri and quad weekly trains automatically get hit harder arithmetically.

The ones that lead the pack are actually extended NEC Regional trains, or Albany Empire trains (the Canadian trains). 

Quite a stark contrast between Milwaukee service and all the rest out of Chicago. Frequency and equipment utilization has an impact. What would it look like if some Milwaukee trains ran through onto other corridors ? A third coach on the Connecticut Valley trains would improve it, rather than turn people away. People on that line gravitate towards the Vermonter and the former Bankers, now lumped in with NEC Regional. 

According to their annual report, the VIA Rail side of the Maple Leaf is the worst performing train they have by subsidy per passenger mile, worse than even remote trains in Manitoba and Quebec. But take the Canadian portion away, which averages 45 people per trip, and Amtrak's performance will drop as some of those people will disappear on the American side. 



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/19 04:30 by joemvcnj.



Date: 01/12/19 07:10
Why Fall for Previously Debunked Fake News?
Author: 79mph

Can't believe that anyone on this board would still get conned into the debunked theory that public services should produce profits.
That argument was firmly decided back in Ben Franklin's day...elsewise there would be no government services at all.
Like what is the "fully allocated cost" of border security?
Police and fire protection?
Air traffic control system and airport building?
Childhood education?
You gotta want something that the private sector, even with subsidy, refuses to provide. 
And depending on how badly you want it, or what the collateral advantages are (such as environmental improvements), "cost" is generally not an object when the people make it their mind it is needed.
What are the "fully allocated costs" of national defense?
If you put the "fully allocated cost" argument into play on highway construction, none would ever be built.
However, putting the theoretical arguments aside, we will never know what sorts of junk the bean counters throw into the tally any certain train operation.
The continued failure to be finaicially transparent may be the final straw in Amtrak's demise as a "national network."
We know that the Hoosier State, as a hybrid 4x a week operation, has been burdened with more than its share of "national" costs such as hauling junk equipment to and from Beech Grove.
For many years the poor little train did not even have a food car, yet it was charged for a portion of all the trains that did.
It got charged for equipment costs and depreciation on Acela, and other northeast corridor luxuries that never turned a wheel in Indiana.
Depreciation and capitalization costs on 40-60 year old passenger cars?  Depreciation and capitalization costs on 25 year old locomotives that were gifted to Amtrak through one-time grants? Give us a break.
Putting some charges on the train to replace aged equipment over time might have made sense, but Amtrak has never done that.  At least there is no clear evidence of it happening.
It finally took a new CEO from Delta Airlines to come on board and see that rolling stock was worn out and needed replaced.
Joe Boardman hid his head in the sand for ten years, and never even brought up the subject for fear of looking "unprofitable."
Now we gotta go back to Congress and say everything is broken on our 30 year old Chevrolet, and we need a new car to get to and from work.
Cincy-Indy-Chicago is certainly a viable transportation corridor in anybody's book. 
Plenty of potential traffic, distances that could easily be spanned within a reasonable time, etc.
Lots of collateral advantages, such as the potential for new transit-oriented developments along the corridor, environmental savings.
Does anybody want it bad enough?
Is the public-private partnership with host railroads, such as CSX, viable today, given activist stockholders that would rather dismantle a company than see it continue to serve its customers?

 



Date: 01/12/19 07:48
Re: Why Fall for Previously Debunked Fake News?
Author: joemvcnj

I have yet to see the gas tax recovery ratio of an interstate toll-less highway, but then the financial performance of the entire federal highway system is now an entitlement, and also not subject to any financial scrutiny. Amtrak is set up to be a distraction from all of that. 



Date: 01/12/19 07:51
Re: Why Fall for Previously Debunked Fake News?
Author: Lackawanna484

Does Amtrak still count the state assistance as "revenue" for purposes of accounting?  I know the Lynchburg train was $29 in ticket fare + $29 in state assistance for years 1 and 2. 

(The state was fine with that, I'm just pointing out that revenue may include more than the obvious.)



Date: 01/12/19 08:21
Re: Why Fall for Previously Debunked Fake News?
Author: Duna

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Does Amtrak still count the state assistance as
> "revenue" for purposes of accounting?  I know the
> Lynchburg train was $29 in ticket fare + $29 in
> state assistance for years 1 and 2. 
>
> (The state was fine with that, I'm just pointing
> out that revenue may include more than the
> obvious.)

Yes. Fake accounting. State subsidies (ahem, "assistance") are extracted from non-riders/passengers and should be a separate revenue category. Amtrak reporting is all about obfuscation.



Date: 01/12/19 08:27
Re: Why Fall for Previously Debunked Fake News?
Author: ts1457

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have yet to see the gas tax recovery ratio of an
> interstate toll-less highway, but then the
> financial performance of the entire federal
> highway system is now an entitlement, and also not
> subject to any financial scrutiny. Amtrak is set
> up to be a distraction from all of that. 

The automobiles pay their fair share. High axle load trucks, which do most of the damage and caused a need for stronger roads in the first place, do not.

Raise the tax on the trucks if you want to solve that problem.



Date: 01/12/19 09:22
Why Fall for Previously Debunked Fake News?
Author: 79mph

Last year the Indiana legislature raised license plate fees on electric and hybrid vehicles by 400% over regular cars and SUV's.
Claimed they were not paying fair share for the horrendous damage they do to state roads.
This tells you the mentality.  Do everything you can to discourage conservation and energy savings.
Oh, they also raised the gas tax and indexed it to inflation so that it will go up every year.  Everyone else's ox got gored as well.

Taxing trucks just raises the cost to the ultimate consumer of the products they carry.
Consumer pays it in the end no matter how you cut it.
But the flip side of that is giving trucks a free ride artificially subsidizes overseas imports.
Local producers, even without the added transportation costs, cannot compete any longer.
Our clean drinking water comes in plastic bottles from France.
So everything that used to be local is now shuttered and we wonder where it (and the local jobs) went.

Governor also raised the tolls in the Indiana Tollroad this year by $1 billion, to use the money for other things.
Truckers have filed suit, so we shall see how that works out.
Could you imagine the self-rightious screaming if they put a measly $3 million or more of that billion towards a commuter railroad corridor?
Same thing happened on New York Thruway.
Kansas has paid for its turnpike hundreds of times over the decades...does the same thing, diversion of funds from trucking companies and automobile users to other things.
Totally legal, but hardly fair if you are trying to make a decent living as a driver.


 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/19 09:34 by 79mph.



Date: 01/12/19 09:30
Re: Why Fall for Previously Debunked Fake News?
Author: ts1457

79mph Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Taxing trucks just raises the cost to the ultimate
> consumer of the products they carry.
> Consumer pays it in the end no matter how you cut
> it.
> But the flip side of that is giving trucks a free
> ride artificially subsidizes overseas imports.
> Local producers, even without the added
> transportation costs, cannot compete any longer.
> Our clean drinking water comes in plastic bottles
> from France.
> So everything that used to be local is now
> shuttered and we wonder where it (and the local
> jobs) went.

The pricing mechanism of free markets can figure out a more optimal resource allocation than you can. Railroad intermodal business would probably increase somewhat among other effects, including what we choose to buy.

Pricing just needs to reflect what the true costs are for the market system to work correctly.
  



Date: 01/12/19 09:37
Re: Why Fall for Previously Debunked Fake News?
Author: Lackawanna484

Products which use high cost labor will have a higher final selling price than products which use low cost labor. But the quality, cost of completion bond, etc may close some of the difference.

Some lenders will penalise non union construction labor with a higher completion bond cost, for example.

Posted from Android



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