Contract negotiations have begun between Amtrak and INDOT over continuation of the Hoosier State passenger rail service. That route, which operates four-days a week between Indianapolis and Chicago, could be terminated as of October 1st, unless funding can be arranged. In 2008, Congress voted to end federal support for Amtrak routes of less than 750 miles. INDOT reports there is still a number of hurdles to clear, but there is a common interest among state and local officials to ensure the route is accountable for the tax dollars being invested. A estimate Amtrak provided in May to keep the Hoosier State passenger rail service in operation is almost three-million dollars annually. INDOT has also funded a cost-benefit analysis of the existing service and four options Amtrak provided for improved frequency and departure times, the result of which will be presented on Thursday before a joint study committee of the legislature.