Amtrak sees slight improvement in on-time performance


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LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Amtrak officials say the Hoosier State and Cardinal rail lines have slightly increased in on-time performance after experiencing many train delays.

The Hoosier State line was on schedule about 56 percent of the time in September, an increase from 37 percent in August, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari told The Journal & Courier . The Cardinal line was on schedule about 58 percent of the time in September.

The Hoosier State line has had an on-time performance of nearly 80 percent so far this month, said Brittany White, marketing manager for the State Department of Transportation. Delays could be caused by a misfiring signal, a slow-moving freight train or a dispatcher not giving an Amtrak train priority, according to Amtrak data.

The CSX Corporation owns the railroad tracks between Indianapolis and Dyer. The U.S. Surface Transportation Board instructed the company in August to address issues that have been delaying Amtrak trains across the country. The board also had an October hearing to investigate complaints against the company.

A new operational model called Precision Schedule Railroading has contributed to the delays, but issues have been fixed, and Amtrak should see a higher percentage of on-time trains, said company spokesman Rob Doolittle.

Amtrak is seeing a slow but steady improvement in performance, Magliari said.

The state Department of Transportation has hired an outside vendor to find where Amtrak, CSX and the transportation department can improve operations. A report is expected in early 2018, White said.

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