The USDOT decided to divide Indiana between the central time zone and the eastern time zone. Six counties near Chicago (Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton and Starke) and six counties near Evansville (Posey, Vanderburgh, Warrick, Spencer, Gibson and Pike) were located in the central time zone while respecting daylight saving time. In the late 1940s, the use of daylight saving time, known as fast time, became popular in cities. Indiana is officially in the central time zone, but some communities choose to follow fast time throughout the year, essentially aligning themselves with the Eastern time zone.
The Department of Transportation is proposing a commitment that most of Indiana would be in Eastern Standard Time all year round, while the Gary and Evansville areas would remain in Central Time and would follow daylight saving time in summer. Congress passes the Standard Time Act, which adopts similar time zones and gives authority over boundaries to the Interstate Commerce Commission. In 1949, the Indiana Senate quietly passed a bill that would keep the state in central time and prohibit daylight saving time. Lacking enough votes, the city's faction tries to obstruct until the session time runs out at midnight, but the representative champion rural.
In 1956, a non-binding state referendum was held, in which voters in the general elections were asked their preference between Eastern and Central Time and whether they should use daylight saving time in the summer months. Mitch Daniels included daylight saving time as part of his economic plan, arguing that Indiana time was bad for the state's economy because companies outside the state couldn't keep track of the time in Indiana. In 1883, major railroads agreed to coordinate their clocks and begin operating on standard time with four established time zones across the country. The only clear consensus that emerges is that most oppose the double time that would result from being in Eastern Standard Time and changing to Eastern Daylight Saving Time.
When the bill reaches the House of Representatives, there is chaos in the plenary, as legislators who represent cities (who generally favor fast time) fight against legislators in agricultural areas (where changing the clock is considered unnatural and unhealthy for cows). Whitcomb says the bill would cause Indiana's times to conflict with those of neighboring states, but is accused of siding with the television broadcast lobby (which wants program schedules to fit those on the East Coast). Time zones in the contiguous United States are often referred to by their generic name, making no difference between standard time designations and daylight saving time designations. The General Assembly repeals the unpopular law of 1957, but does not attempt to replace it, but is limited to a new ruling by the Interstate Commerce Commission that moves the boundary between the eastern and central time zones of the border between the state of Indiana and Ohio to the center of the state.
But travelers who change trains discover that each railroad adjusts its clocks differently, and those schedules don't match the city's clocks.