When I lived in Indiana between 1983 and 1991, Amtrak’s Hoosier State was a part of my life for periodic day trips from Indianapolis to Chicago.
I preferred to ride the Cardinal because it had a full-service dining car and slumbercoaches, which offered a reasonable fare for a return trip to Indy.
But the Cardinal only ran three days a week and more often than not I wound up going to Chicago on the Hoosier State.
After leaving Indiana for Pennsylvania and, later, Ohio, I rarely saw the Hoosier State again.
I followed its story from afar, including how it was discontinued in 1995 only to be brought back because operating a hospital train to and from Beech Grove shops in suburban Indianapolis didn’t work out so well.
In August 2011 I was on my way to Illinois for a visit. I stayed overnight in Indianapolis and got up early the next morning to get to Crawfordsville before No. 851 did.
The sun wasn’t yet above the tree line when the Hoosier State arrived, but there was enough light to document the coming and going of the train.
Since making these images, the Hoosier State has continued to have a rough ride with the latest development being the takeover of the train by Iowa Pacific Holdings in July 2015.
IP won high marks for its on-board service, but the Indiana Department of Transportation declined IP’s request for more money.
So IP pulled out and Amtrak has resumed operation of the Hoosier State. Actually, Amtrak was never completely out of the picture with Nos. 850 and 851 because it provided the operating crews and handled relationships with the host railroads.
So now what was the usual state of affairs in Crawfordsville is back again. Here is a look back at a morning not too long ago when the Hoosier State came calling.
Tags: Amtrak, Amtrak Horizon Fleet, Amtrak Horizon fleet coaches, Amtrak in Indiana, Amtrak in the Midwest, Amtrak Indiana service, Amtrak Midwest Trains, Amtrak P42 189, Amtrak P42DC, Amtrak trains, Crawfordsville Indiana, Indiana, P42DC No. 189