• Amtrak suspends Vermont lines

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by Railjunkie
 
Backshophoss wrote: Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:13 pm The given is the state has "closed" itself off due to covid, the hope is to keep T&E crews qualified till the state "reopens" itself again to tourism


Albany crews are good for another year to RUD. Cant speak to the Springfeild side of the Vermonster
  by Railjunkie
 
Last I heard in regards to VT service returning is a MEETING scheduled for sometime in April. If all goes well you MIGHT see service return by June or July.
  by NHV 669
 
A Refamiliarization run went north to SAB last night. Departed 0935 back SB. Two units and one coach.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Lest we forget, Vermont supports more train-miles PER CAPITA than does any other state. They seemed to control crowding on the slopes this past Winter, and they are not exactly tolerating too much in the way of irresponsible behavior on the part of spring breakers.

They want their trains back; and they are willing to pay for them as soon as it's safe for tourists to ride them.

Very responsible; kudos to the Green Mountain State.
  by Arborwayfan
 
What Mr. Norman said!
  by NH2060
 
Ironically on this one year anniversary of “15 days to slow the spread” it’s more than safe to assume the Vermonter and Ethan Allen Express should have been back up and running no later than early last summer.

The “Downeaster” has been operating for over 8 months with 4-5 round trips per day in and out of BOSTON (one of the original epicenter of COVID-19 btw...) and it hasn’t made anything worse. In fact none of these measures were going to work anyway. It was more than understandable to cut back/suspend service early on when COVID-19 was still very new and there were so many unknowns surrounding it. But since then we have learned a lot about it and the need for these Amtrak restrictions no longer existed many months ago. Viruses will do their own thing no matter what 🤷‍♂️

Sounds like Vermonters are still buying into the fear mongering and as a result it has set them back a whole year. While who knows how many people have driven back and forth in their cars or have taken buses...........

But I digress.
  by Arborwayfan
 
Vermont pretty much skipped last summer's spike, and didn't have the third wave as strongly as some other states. Riding the train may be safeish in itself, and discouraging travel isn't a perfect preventative, but as people move around and go to esp indoor attractions more, more people get sick. It's nonsense to say that their restrictions were never going to work. We might disagree with each other about how many deaths per capita are acceptable. We might disagree about how to account for the economic costs of lost lives, lost productivity, medical care, lost business due to sickness, etc. We might agree that the tiny number of Amtrak passengers into and out of Vermont are probably irrelevant to the overall public health picture, which might be the strongest argument for bringing back the train sooner. But the precautions have tended to reduce sickness and death AND the economies of states with successful stronger precautions have mostly suffered less than the economies of states with weak precautions (Michigan has done better than Indiana, with fewer deaths and better economic results, for example).

Fearmongering? Over half a million dead in a year and it's fearmongering to say this disease is dangerous? When am I supposed to be afraid, then? We worry as a society about much smaller numbers of deaths from car crashes, other transportation wrecks, violence, opiods, etc., etc. Even if someone wants to write off the very old and the immune compromised as somehow not real deaths, at least half the dead are not in that category.

Moderator, I suggest deleting my comment and the previous one and maybe a couple more, and maybe locking up the thread, as you have often told us not to argue Covid on here.

Vaccine appt for next week!
  by shadyjay
 
There is still (and has been throughout) both bus and airline transportation to Vermont. There is no reason why there hasn't at least been a date set for the return. The Downeaster has kept running throughout and Maine had some pretty stringent restrictions. For the 100 or so people who travel to/from Vermont in each direction from down south, there's no reason why the service shouldn't resume in the spring. Its not like 300+ people are being crammed into 4 1/2 Amfleets and traveling to Vermont in droves.

If this was pre-1950, would Vermont have suspended all passenger rail service in the state? Would the B&M, Rutland, and CV have been on board with that?

New York I can see cancelling the Adirondack north of Albany until the border is fully reopened. There are no facilities to service the train along the route. If it really wanted to, it could've turned at Saratoga perhaps. Same with the Ethan Allen.
  by daybeers
 
Yeah I think the Vermonter may have lost a lot of riders because it still hasn't restarted like the Downeaster. It just doesn't make sense. "If you build it, they will come" also applies to roads, and as was said, Amtrak's travel in VT is a tiny fraction of travel by other modes and thereby a tiny fraction of the impact on public health. Rail travel just has such low risk of COVID infection: surface cleaning doesn't really do anything, but distancing, masks, & ventilation does. Just because the train isn't running doesn't mean there aren't travelers from other states.
  by lordsigma12345
 
I would imagine it's a combination of COVID safety concerns of travelers entering the state and fiscal concerns at the state level. As Mr. Norman said Vermont subsidizes a relatively large amount of rail service for such a small state population wise. Given the unknowns of what sort of federal relief funding states were going to get and how COVID was going to impact state tax receipts and finances and the fact that the train would have been running with much lower ridership (which increases costs to the state) I can understand why Vermont, which is a much smaller state with a smaller tax base than some of these other states that have continued service, chose to outright cancel service. It would seem though that sometime in May or June is probably the time to bring it back if they are going to.
  by Traingeek3629
 
Never understood why they didn't restart the Vermonter to at least Springfield or Greenfield, even if Vermont was blocking it from getting north of the state line.
  by lordsigma12345
 
Logistics Greenfield isn’t doable as they have no yard or crew facilities up there - it would only be feasible if they used both normal train sets and parked one at Springfield - turning the train at Springfield can be tricky that time of day because you have Lake Shore 449 (which is about to resume daily service) coming through which is given priority by CSX over the Vermonter crossing over the diamond (or using the wye) plus whatever freight traffic so it’s tricky to turn it at Springfield and keep schedule. The easiest thing for them to have done would have been to add a Valley Flyer in the Vermonters time slot and meeting the train at New Haven - but the states probably didn’t want to pay for it given that other service is available (Once per day north of Springfield is probably more than enough given current traffic and Springfield has plenty of other options.) CSX has more incentive to keep the Lake Shore on time given it hosts it a good chunk of the route than the Vermonter which just crosses over (or turns.)
  by Ridgefielder
 
lordsigma12345 wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 5:00 am I would imagine it's a combination of COVID safety concerns of travelers entering the state and fiscal concerns at the state level. As Mr. Norman said Vermont subsidizes a relatively large amount of rail service for such a small state population wise. Given the unknowns of what sort of federal relief funding states were going to get and how COVID was going to impact state tax receipts and finances and the fact that the train would have been running with much lower ridership (which increases costs to the state) I can understand why Vermont, which is a much smaller state with a smaller tax base than some of these other states that have continued service, chose to outright cancel service. It would seem though that sometime in May or June is probably the time to bring it back if they are going to.
I'd assumed that fiscal considerations were probably predominant, to be honest.

Vermont isn't just a small state; its the second-smallest, with a population of 625k (only Wyoming is smaller.) Tourism is a huge part of the state economy, and a big chunk of those tourists come from Canada: Burlington is only 70 miles from Montreal (vs 170 from Boston) and in a normal winter you probably hear more French than English spoken in the lift lines at Jay Peak.

Pausing the service until they got a hold of what state revenues would look like is just the fiscally prudent thing to do.