Above: Iowa Pacific’s Hoosier State Train offers services and amenities not seen in American passenger railroading since the 1960s. In 2015, we rode along with CEO Ed Ellis for a behind-the-scenes look on Iowa Pacific’s joint operation with Amtrak.
Amtrak announced this morning (January 30, 2017) that The Hoosier State train will no longer use Iowa Pacific equipment in March. The news comes only weeks after the Chicago-based company laid off over thirty employees from the Texas State Railroad. On August 2, 2015, Iowa Pacific assumed the passenger operations of the state-subsidized Hoosier State train in partnership with Amtrak. The company owns nine freight railroads all over the United States, but are also known for operating Polar Express excursions on some of their properties and Pullman Rail Journeys.
Below: Amtrak’s official statement that was released this morning:
The Hoosier State train operates between Chicago and Indianapolis, serving various communities between. With service and amenities not seen in American passenger railroading since the 1960s, Iowa Pacific is stunning passengers from all over the country with their excellent service. To date, the train is equipped with a full-service dining car and a dome car. Breakfast and dinner meals are prepared fresh, every operating day by the two chefs on board the train.
The Hoosier State has been operated in a joint effort between Amtrak and Iowa Pacific. The vision for the train came from CEO of Iowa Pacific Holdings, Ed Ellis, who has a very successful and colorful career in the railroad industry. From his humble beginnings on the Illinois Central Railroad to today, Ed Ellis hopes to grow the services his company offers on other passenger lines a crossed the country. With this decisive blow in Amtrak’s announcement this morning, only time will tell if his dream comes to fruition.
In 2015, we rode along with CEO Ed Ellis for a behind-the-scenes look on Iowa Pacific’s joint operation with Amtrak. You can watch our video tour below.