Amtrak Service Returns to Burlington, VT

Nicole Carlson /

Uncategorized

Amtrak Service Returns to Burlington, VT

Nicole Carlson /

Uncategorized

On Friday, July 29th, the Vermont Rail System had the pleasure of attending the Inaugural Celebration of Amtrak’s Ethan Allen Express, which will now connect Burlington, VT, and New York City for the first time in about seven decades. The start of this service constitutes years of planning and efforts from our Federal and State Representatives, The Vermont Agency of Transportation, the Vermont Rail System, Amtrak, the City of Burlington, multiple contractors and engineering firms, and many others.

“I’m proud to be standing here today representing the exceptional team at Vermont Rail System who have worked tirelessly over the past year in a final push on some of the projects needed to make today a reality.” President of Vermont Rail System, Selden Houghton, said as he closed the ceremony speeches. “I can remember standing in this location about twenty years ago when the last Champlain Flyer train left this station, discussing Amtrak and when it would leave from here. Over the years, every time we ran a tourist or dinner train out of this station, we would inevitably be asked by a passerby if they could get on a train to New York City here. Today, it is great to be able to answer…” Yes.”

We are proud of the commitment and dedication our Vermont Rail System employees have dedicated to this project over the past 15 years, especially during the final push leading up to departure day. In conjunction with Engineers Construction in January, VRS started building the new layover track in the Burlington railyard for Amtrak; this work required the relocation and rebuilding of three existing tracks, the construction of the layover track itself, and the relocation and constriction of numerous electrical utilities. Even more unprecedented than the major winter track work was that we had our surfacing equipment out in early March to get the new tracks ready for use, about a month earlier than we had ever started.

As the work in the Burlington railyard was wrapping up, our track crew transitioned their efforts to the mainline between Rutland and Burlington. They installed several thousand ties, redecked several bridges, and surfaced numerous miles of track, all while simultaneously managing vegetation removal and subgrade stabilization projects.

Outside of the track upgrades, our operations team spent countless hours implementing the new operating plan needed for the service extension. In contrast, our Burlington-based mechanical team spent weeks training for the required Amtrak daily inspections and servicing. All while still working to ensure the freight relied upon by Vermont businesses continued to move efficiently.

“I would like to recognize David Wulfson (Part Owner & CEO of Vermont Rail System) for his commitment to making this day possible and the other key members of the VRS team with us here today. Thanks to all of you for your steadfast dedication and countless hours of work in supporting this service.” President Houghton proclaimed.

The team at VRS is looking forward to supporting and growing this service for years to come.  

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