Amtrak says loss of 'Hoosier State' could threaten jobs at Beech Grove

RELATED TOPICS: PASSENGER | AMTRAK | LEGISLATION | MIDWEST
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BEECH GROVE, Ind. — Elimination of Amtrak’s Hoosier State could threaten jobs at the passenger railroad’s Beech Grove shops, according to an Amtrak spokesman and workers at the facility.

WISH-TV reports that Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said that, if the four-day-a-week train between Indianapolis and Chicago is eliminated, it would limit Amtrak’s ability to ferry equipment to and from Beech Grove for repairs. Such moves would then only be possible on the triweekly Chicago-Washington-New York Cardinal.

“If we can only move rail equipment three days a week,” Magliari said, “it puts these jobs at some kind of risk.” More than 500 people work at the Beech Grove facility, which was the site of a rally Wednesday to save the Hoosier State.

Danny Groves, a carman and welder at Beech Grove for more than 20 years, told the TV station, “If there’s [less] equipment to be worked on, it’s not good business to have excess people standing around. … This potentially could lead to job loss.”

The train is slated to be discontinued at the end of June after Indiana did not include $3 miliion in annual funding in its new budget. [See “Indiana Senate shuns amendment to fund ‘Hoosier State,’” Trains News Wire, April 17, 2019.]

An Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman, in an email statement to the TV station, said the train “has the lowest ridership and highest taxpayer subsidy per ticket sold of all Amtrak state-sponsored routes. … This does not represent a good value to Hoosier taxpayers.”

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