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Proposed bill brings passenger rail system back to Indiana

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INDIANA (WPTA21) - The Northern Indiana Passenger Rail Association working to get passenger rail services returned to northern Indiana, including Fort Wayne.

The NIPRA created a draft, known as Senate Bill 9, that would help to promote and coordinate passenger rail service through Indiana.

According to the NIPRA, they are moving forward with returning rail service from Chicago to Columbus, Ohio and stops in Fort Wayne. There are also talks of service be extended to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Nathan Hatfield is from Fort Wayne but lives in Chicago. He says the system would be efficient and cheaper.

"Usually I take one of two trains, the South Bend one or the Amtrak to Waterloo, and they’re both terrible and take forever," Hatfield said.
It means I would be able to come home more often, it would cost less money, it would be easier on everyone.” 

Hatfield says he doesn't have a car and someone usually has to pick him up from one of the train stations or drive all the way to Chicago.

“It would be easier to take that two hour drive train between Fort Wayne and Chicago and be able to access more of the world, he said. "Having people be able to come and experience what makes Fort Wayne great.” 

Some of their efforts include:

  • Facilitate development and implementation of improvements to intercity passenger rail service in Indiana and the Midwest. 
  • Coordinate interaction among federal, state, and local elected officials relating to passenger rail issues. 
  • Facilitate development and implementation of long range plans for modern passenger rail service in Indiana and the Midwest.
  • Coordinate public and private sectors at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure cooperation among the various entities having an interest in passenger rail service and promote Indiana interests regarding passenger rail service. 
  • Facilitate the efforts of the Indiana department of transportation and other transportation agencies involved in developing and implementing passenger rail service in Indiana and the Midwest.

According to the NIPRA, the proposed will be introduced by Senator Dennis Kruse in the Indiana State Legislature.

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Karli VanCleave

Karli VanCleave is a multimedia journalist at WPTA for the evening newscast. Karli is a Fort Wayne native and Indiana University Bloomington graduate.
Feel free to connect with her on Facebook (@KarliVanCleaveNews) and Twitter (@Karli_VanCleave), or if you have a story idea send her an email at

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