Amtrak LogoThe Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and local communities this weekend reached long-term agreements with Amtrak and Iowa Pacific Holdings to continue Hoosier State passenger-rail service between Indianapolis and Chicago.

Service under the new agreements began yesterday. As the route’s operator, Amtrak will work with host railroads, provide train and engine crews and manage ticket reservations. INDOT will pay Amtrak for its expenses not covered by ticket revenue, and Amtrak will provide the state with any excess revenue.

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Train and engine employees on Colorado short line San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad have voted to be represented by the UTU.

This is the 30th organizing win in 53 months for the UTU. International Vice President Bonnie Morr led the organizing effort.

The 150-mile San Luis & Rio Grande – one of three rail properties owned by Iowa Pacific Holdings – is headquartered in Alamosa, Colo., and runs west from a connection with Union Pacific at Walsenburg, Colo., over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in southern Colorado.

The highest point on the railroad, which primarily hauls grain, minerals and specialty rock products, is at La Veta Pass – 9,242 feet above sea level.