Fact Sheet regarding recent inaccurate Indiana claims

November 27, 2014

Fact Sheet regarding recent inaccurate claims made about Corridor Capital LLC’s and the Indiana Hoosier State route

November 26, 2014

Corridor Capital - Nov 2014 Hoosier State Fact Sheet
Corridor Capital − Nov 2014 Hoosier State Fact Sheet
(3 pages, PDF)

Regarding Mobilization of rail services for the Hoosier State route

  • The projected “mobilization costs” for the Hoosier State were provided at Indiana Department of Transportation’s (INDOT) request several days after June 24. 2014, when INDOT advised Corridor Capital LLC (Corridor) it had been chosen through a full procurement process as “preferred vendor” for the new Hoosier State. All such costs were identified by Corridor’s partners and subcontractors as reasonable and customary in the multiple service transitions each had been previously hired to perform for public agencies.
  • A substantial amount of required work was for the transition itself, including extensive required work with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to prepare the train for a then-undefined level of transition to a different operation, as well as preparation and staffing of a maintenance facility at Indianapolis Union Station. The balance was to overhaul and upgrade the Amtrak-certified equipment selected for the train to a modern and superior level requested by INDOT. This recommended work – and the budget for it – was discussed with and approved by INDOT during the week of June 30th.
  • These costs were included in the final version of the term sheet/memorandum of understanding prepared by INDOT’s consultant, the terms of which were agreed to by INDOT in August immediately following agreement with the city of Indianapolis to continue funding its share of the Hoosier State. The project had been delayed until August because of the reluctance of Indianapolis to continue funding the existing Hoosier State service.
  • Shortly after the terms were agreed to by INDOT, the executive in charge of the procurement fell seriously ill. Thereafter, INDOT advised Corridor mobilization funds were not available, and asked Corridor to commit to starting the service without state funding. Corridor secured a commitment for private financing to assure the train’s February 1st startup. At INDOT’s request, Corridor drafted and submitted a letter of agreement incorporating this. But the prolonged absence of the INDOT executive who had spearheaded the Hoosier State initiative caused the project to languish, and Corridor never received authority to proceed with its financing strategy or with the other elements contained in its winning procurement bid.
  • As Corridor advised INDOT on June 24th, the Corridor team was ready, willing and able to deliver all aspects of the winning proposal that it submitted to INDOT in April. This included using Amtrak as the operating carrier for the new Hoosier State. After communicating with Amtrak, Corridor advised INDOT that day to advise Amtrak that Corridor would be serving as developer/manager of the new train. At no time did INDOT ever express to Corridor any dissatisfaction with Corridor’s plan, team or resources. INDOT conducted no negotiations with Corridor subsequent to the illness-caused departure of INDOT’s executive in charge of the service.

Regarding the professional background of alleged whistleblower Mark Singer

  • Mark Singer was never an employee of Corridor Capital. Singer worked in a part-time, infrequent project volunteer capacity until late August 2014 when he finally agreed to terms offered by Corridor to be a 1099 independent contractor. However, virtually at the same time, he began sending inflammatory emails to management and staff, and ceased his irregular visits to the office. As a result, he was dismissed. Corridor is prepared to provide evidence to substantiate this sequence of events upon request.
  • After his dismissal, Corridor Capital LLC has determined Mr. Singer had gone to Corridor’s strategic partners in an attempt to hijack business Corridor had developed. He continued to persistently reach out from October 2014 until present time. None of Corridor’s partners have agreed to work with Mr. Singer in any capacity.
  • Mr. Singer was aware of all actual facts associated with the Hoosier State start-up mobilization. He had zero experience in mobilizing a train service transition, and offered no comment to the Corridor team regarding it. He was not involved in any aspect of discussions or negotiations with INDOT regarding the service start-up, and played no role in the development of the initial agreement on mobilization with INDOT.

Regarding Amtrak’s claim it is not familiar with Corridor Capital’s rolling stock

  • In several news stories appearing in the Indiana media an Amtrak spokesman claimed Corridor Capital lacked Amtrak-certified rolling stock to operate in the Hoosier State and complained Corridor had failed to inform Amtrak about its plans for taking over the train and had not identified to Amtrak the rolling stock it initially planned to use. On June 24, 2014, the day INDOT announced Corridor as its “preferred operator” of the Hoosier State, the Corridor team contacted an Amtrak’s senior operating official and asked to begin discussions on both these issues. The following day another official told the Corridor team he could not talk with Corridor until he had received direction from INDOT. Amtrak and INDOT had no substantive discussions regarding Amtrak’s role as operator or Corridor’s role as developer/manager until late September. If they had, Amtrak would have learned what the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) learned on September 4th, when a large team from the FRA, INDOT staff and virtually the entire Corridor team met at INDOT in the morning and inspected equipment at Columbus in the afternoon: The three coaches and business-class cafe car Corridor arranged to lease for the Hoosier State had operated many times in Amtrak trains carrying charter groups and the cars had passed inspection by the Amtrak Mechanical Department and were certified for operation in Amtrak at speeds up to 110 mph. On September 6th FRA approved of the cars and the planned equipment upgrades. Corridor Capital will be happy to share records of the Amtrak documents authorizing the movement of these cars in its trains.

About Corridor Capital LLC

  • Corridor Capital LLC was founded in 2005 with a vision to provide the nation’s passenger-train operators with the requisite capital and expertise to expand their fleets and fixed facilities. James E. Coston has had a 40+ year career in planning, marketing and operating passenger trains, as well as serving as a Presidential appointee to the Amtrak Reform Council, arranging for the $820 million financing of the Acela trains and successfully lobbying Congress on behalf of his law firm’s equipment finance clients to provide Amtrak with $2.3 billion in federal capital. The Corridor team for Indiana includes RailPlan International, an international provider of passenger rail maintenance, design/engineer work and manufacture of modular interior components. James Stoetzel, mobilization manager, has successfully undertaken almost two dozen transitions of rail corridors for public agencies. For more information, please visit http://www.ccrail.com or contact us directly.

Media Contact: F.K. Plous
Director of Communications
 Corridor Capital LLC
(312) 307-6572 (mobile)   
(312) 205-1060
fp@ccrail.com

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