Amtrak is proposing additional routes and more frequent service to central Indiana as well as a new station at Indianapolis International Airport.

The proposal, posted on Amtrak’s website, adds far more frequent routes from Chicago to Indianapolis to Cincinnati and a new connection between Indianapolis and Louisville.

With the possibility of landing billions of dollars in additional funding through the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure bill, Amtrak has proposed a 15-year, $75 billion national plan that would bring service to 160 new communities, add 39 new routes and enhance 25 existing routes.

Amtrak said it would introduce new stations in more than half of U.S. states and improve rail service for 20 million more riders annually.

Right now, Indianapolis only has tri-weekly Amtrak service through the Cardinal Line, which runs Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays between Chicago and Cincinnati on its way to and from New York City.

Amtrak used to offer service from Indianapolis to Chicago four days a week on the Hoosier State line, but that route ended in 2019 after the state cut off funding.

Under a proposed new Chicago-Indianapolis-Louisville/Cincinnati line, trains would make four daily round trips from Chicago to Indianapolis to Cincinnati and four other round trips daily from Chicago to Indianapolis to Louisville.

With 1.2 million people, the Louisville-Jefferson County metropolitan area is the fourth largest metro without Amtrak service. Amtrak said Louisville hasn’t had passenger rail service since 2003.

The routes through Indianapolis would continue to use the downtown station at 350 S. Illinois St. They would also stop at a new station at the airport.

In Indiana, both routes would make stops in Dyer, Rensselar, Lafayette and Crawfordsville.

The route to Cincinnati would include a stop in Connersville.

The route to Louisville adds new stations in Columbus, Jeffersonville and Louisville.

Amtrak estimates the trip from Chicago to Indianapolis would take three hours and 45 minutes. The Chicago-to-Louisville trip would last five hours and 45 minutes, and travel from Chicago from Cincinnati would take six hours and 10 minutes.

Amtrak said adding the routes to Indianapolis, Louisville and Cincinnati would provide additional train services to more than 14 million people and connect over 30 Fortune 500 companies.
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