Long-awaited Amtrak service in Burlington, Vergennes, and Middlebury to begin July 29

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Long-awaited Amtrak service in Burlington, Vergennes, and Middlebury to begin July 29

Thu, 06/16/2022 - 8:50am -- tim

An Amtrak train speeds westbound along the Ethan Allen Express route near West Rutland during a training/inspection run last September. Photo courtesy Bonnie Shatraw Wingler.

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) today announced that the Amtrak Ethan Allen Express train will begin the highly-anticipated expanded passenger rail service to Burlington, Vergennes, and Middlebury on July 29, 2022. This service culminates the Agency’s extensive planning and infrastructure work to upgrade the tracks between Rutland and Burlington to accommodate higher speed passenger rail.

This is the first intercity rail passenger service to Burlington since the early 1950s.

“Providing this new service along the western corridor wouldn’t have happened without the partnership between the Agency of Transportation, the General Assembly, Vermont’s Congressional delegation, and the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the willingness of communities along the way,” said Governor Phil Scott. “This new service will benefit Vermonters in countless ways, all while helping to grow our economy.”

“Our Agency’s talented and dedicated Rail leadership, engineers, and planners deserve immense credit for their steadfast dedication to bringing to Vermonters and visitors to the State this new transportation option for travel between New York City and Burlington,” said Vermont Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn. “Passenger rail travel offers beautiful scenery, relaxation, and spacious and comfortable seating, and trains are nearly three times more energy efficient than automobiles.”

Mayor Miro Weinberger said: “Very soon, we will be able to climb aboard a train in downtown Burlington,  and arrive in New York City in time for dinner. This long-desired service will give a boost to our economic recovery at a critical time, and give travelers a new, lower-carbon connection to New York and the rest of the Amtrak system.

“Local, state and federal officials have been working to reestablish this vital transportation link for decades. I am grateful to our congressional delegation and multiple governors for prioritizing this transportation investment for years, and to Vermont Rail, Lake Champlain Transportation and Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn for working closely with the City to resolve residents’ concerns about Amtrak overnighting in Burlington that threatened to delay this day further. Finally, I applaud Public Works Director Chapin Spencer, City Engineer Norm Baldwin and the rest of the City team that worked very hard for years to make today’s announcement possible.”

With gas prices at record highs, passenger rail also offers a more affordable option, with fares from Burlington to New York City starting at $75.

The newly extended Ethan Allen Express service southbound will depart Burlington daily at 10:10 a.m. and arrive at Penn Station in New York City at 5:45 p.m. The Ethan Allen Express northbound will depart Penn Station at 2:21 p.m. daily with arrival in Burlington at 9:55 p.m.

AOT will be honoring this historic occasion and the partners who made it possible with a celebratory public event at Burlington’s Union Station on July 29 from 9 a.m. until the train departs at 10:10 a.m. The Agency will announce more details about the event soon, as well as information about ticket sales, including 50% promotional fares on the Ethan Allen Express this summer.  

AOT would like to thank the Vermont communities of Burlington, Ferrisburgh/Vergennes, and Middlebury that are hosting the new stations, as well as Rutland for serving as the Vermont anchor for the Ethan Allen line for many years. The Agency also acknowledges and thanks Vermont Rail System for its partnership and hard work.

6.16.2022. Vermont Agency of Transportation vtrans.vermont.gov