bratkinson wrote: ↑Wed Mar 17, 2021 8:02 pm
The only reason the Vermonter exists is that the state of Vermont is kicking in the money to run the train through their state. Like other state-supported trains, THEY get to determine when the trains run through their state. What's the odds they'd willingly pay for a train that goes through beautiful Vermont in the dark both ways? Or that anyone would want to arrive and/or depart Montreal at 3AM to allow the current Vermonter schedule through Vermont?
Every time there has been a schedule change, which reduces travel times, it has pushed southbound departures back farther. Back in 2010, the southbound departed SAB at 8:30am. By 2016, this was pushed back to 9:30am.
According to the fall 1994 timetable, it is 69 rail miles, St Albans to Montreal. The southbound was carded for 2 hours between those points. Customs then occurred during the SAB station stop. Northbound, 3 hours was allocated to travel SAB to Montreal, with customs performed at the Cantic, QC stop part-way.
Therefore, it is assumed that Montreal service resumption via Vermont would include a pre-clearance/customs at Montreal, then the train running express to/from St Albans. Coupled with incremental track improvements done on both sides of the border in that time, would make one believe that the 69 miles could be travelled faster than 2 hours. Maybe 1 1/2 hours is more realistic.
So the thought of having to depart Montreal at 3AM sees less likely, and something like 7am seems more feasible. What is disappointing is that if the "daylight" schedule is utilized, it requires an entire day of travel to reach your destination. An overnight train obliviated that, enabling one to get on board "after work/after dinner" and travel through the night, reaching the destination in the AM.
Whether Amtrak is willing to reinstate the overnight "Montrealer", or whether Vermont will step up to the plate to support a 3rd train or extends the Valley Flyers up to Brattleboro or White River remains to be seen. If funding was no object, I'd like to see is the overnight Montrealer returned and perhaps a daylight Vermonter from New York City to Burlington (via the present New England route). Such a train could make a giant loop with the Ethan Allen Express to Burlington. Those who want to continue south can either change in NYP or opt for the overnight Montrealer.
We shall see what comes about in the months and years ahead!