1980: All aboard Amtrak's Hoosier State

Posted at 5:00 AM, Jul 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-05 23:01:30-04

INDIANAPOLIS — It was the end of the line for Amtrak’s Hoosier State line earlier this week. The train ran four days a week between Indianapolis and Chicago after the Indiana legislature cut the Hoosier State’s funding prompting the discontinuation of the rail service.

It was a rail service that began on Oct. 1, 1980.

Former Channel 6 reporter Ken Nelson was at Union Station in downtown Indianapolis for the train’s inaugural trip to Chicago. Also on board were Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut and U.S. Senator Birch Bayh who was instrumental in securing the Hoosier State. The pair christened the Amtrak locomotive shortly before it’s 7:30 a.m. departure.

A round trip ticket on the Hoosier State cost $40. The train consisted of two 84-seat coaches and the 56-seat Amcafe.

The train made its first stop in Crawfordsville, where a band from Wabash College greeted passengers. It was the first passenger rail service to Crawfordsville in about ten years.

While the Hoosier State train is no longer in service, Indianapolis travelers can still ride the Cardinal, a train that runs from New York to Chicago, three days a week.

Additionally, a new bus service named OurBus is testing service between Indianapolis and Chicago from Monday, July 1 through Monday, September 2. Tickets are $10 per rider.