Jeff Smith wrote: ↑Tue Dec 08, 2020 1:32 pm
For the life of me I've never understood why the Vermonter is not a New Haven - Hartford - Springfield - VT stops train, fed by NEC trains. If it's only running DC - NYP, then it's a poor man's regional.
The Vermonter was originally (in 1995) just another WAS-NYP-NHV-SPG train, just extended north to Vermont, which the state of VT subsidized north of Springfield (MA). Today (well, pre-COVID), CT, MA, and VT subsidize the train north of New Haven. Since its a regular corridor train south of NHV, that's probably why it was operating that far in the present state of affairs.
There is a fair amount of traffic from points north of SPG heading to (at least) New York City. Sure, the Vermonter could be operated as a NHV-SAB-(Montreal) train, but requiring passengers to change in New Haven is a turn-off for some, even if it is just a same-platform transfer. The Vermonter is popular with college students and with the elderly. The college kids often have some carryons with them and a change would require shlepping your bags from one train to another. And most likely, that connecting train is a regional down from Boston, which probably would require searching to find seats (again, pre-COVID levels). Older folks may have difficulty making the transfer as well, as its just a lot more convenient and comforting to know that you'll be on the same train without a transfer.
In the pre-electrification days, it would be possible to just add the Vermonter's cars to/from the corridor train at NHV, during the then-often change of power. This was done for the Springfield shuttle trains until just before the start of all-electric service to BOS (now the 400-series shuttles make a cross-platform connection). While a car was removed - NB/added -SB to the Vermonter at NHV up until earlier this year, it was unoccupied during the transfer and could be done as part of the engine change.