Iowa Pacific rail partnership launch delayed in Indiana

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Indiana transportation officials say they won’t meet their goal of launching a public-private rail partnership by mid-year.

The Indiana Department of Transportation has asked Amtrak to continue operating the Hoosier State line between Indianapolis and Chicago until INDOT can negotiate contracts with Amtrak, Iowa Pacific Holdings and communities served by that route.

The (Lafayette) Journal and Courier reports that this is the fourth time the agency has requested an extension on an October 2013 contract with Amtrak after federal lawmakers stopped funding routes shorter than 750 miles.

Iowa Pacific’s brown rail cars were expected to replace Amtrak’s silver coaches on Wednesday.

An INDOT spokesman says plans have been delayed so the state can work on the contracts, as well as documentation of four inspections on Iowa Pacific rail cars.

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