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Mayor of Rensselaer reacts to loss of Hoosier State Rail Line

Amtrak recently funded a brand new train station for Rensselaer.

Posted: Apr 26, 2019 5:26 PM
Updated: Apr 26, 2019 6:19 PM

JASPER COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Rensselaer is one of the cities impacted by the loss of the Hoosier State Rail Line. The train line stopped in the city.

As News 18 previously reported, Governor Eric Holcomb did not include funding for the Amtrak line in the original state budget. It was not put back in, even after numerous attempts by local legislators.

The state has contributed $3 million annually to support the rail line that used to run directly between Indianapolis and Chicago.

Amtrak recently funded a brand new train station for the city. Rensselaer Mayor Stephen Wood said there are people in his city who ride that train regularly, and are upset by the loss of the line.

"Naturally we are disappointed, I'm not really upset but I am very disappointed it didn't get funded through the legislature," he said. "I just don't think they gave it a chance."

Mayor Wood said he sees the benefits of alternative transportation.

"Eventually they are going to have to have some good public transportation infrastructure sometime in this country, because we keep building more and more roads and keep adding and adding to our roads," he said.

Mayor Wood said he worked with other mayors in the area, such as Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski and West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis on how to get it put back into the state budget. He hopes funding for the line can be put back in the state budget in the future, but said once these things come out of the budget, it can be very hard to get them back in.

The state budget was passed by the legislature on Wednesday.

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