• 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 Alphaboi
 
Personally I'm hoping if/when the Vermonter is extended to Montreal it gets turned back into an overnight train. With the right timetable it could allow convenient overnight travel between NYC and both Montreal & Vermont.

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  by NHV 669
 
Another NB run tonight, through Windsor within the last half hour. One poster elsewhere mentioned that we might see roughly a week of these runs, but obviously still no time table for the return of revenue service.
  by bratkinson
 
Alphaboi wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:27 pm Personally I'm hoping if/when the Vermonter is extended to Montreal it gets turned back into an overnight train. With the right timetable it could allow convenient overnight travel between NYC and both Montreal & Vermont.
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?

I rode the Montrealer both ways back in '79 and that was the schedule, as I recall. 9 AM-ish arrival in Montreal, and 9 PM-ish departure from Montreal. Back then, Amtrak was picking up the tab for the entire run so they scheduled the train for convenient endpoint times.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
NHV 669 wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 5:14 pm Another NB run tonight, through Windsor within the last half hour. One poster elsewhere mentioned that we might see roughly a week of these runs, but obviously still no time table for the return of revenue service.


Well, if the re-start of service is too far distant from the re-familiarizing runs, they'll have to re-familiarize yet again. Given that, I think we'll see a re-start of service in the near future.
  by shadyjay
 
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!
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
The State of Vermont is not interested in subsidizing those folk who want to visit Montreal; they want people to visit Vermont and its attractions. From what I understand, Burlington is the "magnet" city within the state.

Therefore, I would think first priority of any rail infrastructure projects would be to have the Vermonter access Burlington; somehow I doubt if there is any non-rail (rail being X-ing Lake Champlain at some 10 mph as I once did during '56 behind CN steam power) attractions between there and E. Alburgh.
  by lordsigma12345
 
There is a plan to extend the train to Montreal however I would strongly suspect that it would be on the train's current schedule as Burlington is certainly the priority of this service (so it will get there when it gets there as far as Montreal goes.) The hold up on that is its waiting for a new customs pre-clearance facility at Montreal station as I don't believe Vermont wants to have to do a border stop.
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Thu Mar 18, 2021 1:12 pm The State of Vermont is not interested in subsidizing those folk who want to visit Montreal; they want people to visit Vermont and its attractions. From what I understand, Burlington is the "magnet" city within the state.

Therefore, I would think first priority of any rail infrastructure projects would be to have the Vermonter access Burlington; somehow I doubt if there is any non-rail (rail being X-ing Lake Champlain at some 10 mph as I once did during '56 behind CN steam power) attractions between there and E. Alburgh.
The Ethan Allen Express extension is actually slated to go directly into Burlington from Rutland - which will certainly create a faster route between NYC and the Burlington area. I've also heard rumblings about them wanting the Vermonter to serve Burlington directly too but not sure how this would be done and then have it continue up to St. Albans as they are also slated to extend the train to Montreal.
  by J.D. Lang
 
I would think that the Ethan Allen would suffice when the extension starts. I think that is slated to start next year since the trench/tunnel in Middlebury is now done. They could always run a bus/van shuttle from Essex Junction for people on the Vermonter going to Burlington.
  by Ridgefielder
 
J.D. Lang wrote: Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:29 pm I would think that the Ethan Allen would suffice when the extension starts. I think that is slated to start next year since the trench/tunnel in Middlebury is now done. They could always run a bus/van shuttle from Essex Junction for people on the Vermonter going to Burlington.
My guess would be the Ethan Allen runs through to St. Albans via Essex Jct. anyway since I don't think there are facilities to service the train and power at Burlington. At the very least they'd probably to run to Essex Jct if only to turn the consist on the wye.
  by Alphaboi
 
Last I heard the plan was to overnight the trainset in Burlington.

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  by shadyjay
 
Yes, the train will be stored/serviced in Burlington, I believe right at the VTR yard just south of the station, IIRRC. They're also going to be moving the bike path to construct a new platform.

I don't think the train will be wyed at all, since it will have to reverse direction/change ends at Rutland. There is no straight shot direct connection from the line from Burlington to head west to New York. So it would have to go on the connecting track to clear the switch and then head west, a la' Palmer shuffle. Rutland station is only a couple miles to the east of this point. At least its not a "middle of nowhere" change of direction like Palmer was. It can be done during the station stop in Rutland. Of course, having a locomotive on both ends (which is probably what will happen) will raise the cost to Vermont. That is, until the dream of running via North Bennington and Manchester is realized. That would mean a whole new route north of Schenectady, getting over the VTR line via the B&M/Guilford/Pan Am Southern/ Berkshire & Eastern.
  by Traingeek3629
 
Not long after the eventual reinstatement of Ethan Allen service, plans are for it to be extended to Burlington. It'll stop at Vergennes and Middlebury, apparently bypassing the perfectly usable Champlain Flyer stops in Charlotte, Shelburne, and South Burlington. The Vermonter goes well to the east of there, coming through the physical Essex Junction and turning north to St. Albans. To allow the Vermonter train to go to Burlington, it would have to bypass the Essex Jct stop and head through Winooski to get into Burlington from the north. I don't think we'll see a Vermonter into downtown Burlington unless a second train is added post-COVID, with one going to Burlington and the other to St. Albans and possibly Montreal.
  by Red Wing
 
Adding those stops will make the train slower and the Ethan Allen is not a commuter train. If you really wanted you could send the Vermonter to Burlington via Rutland from Bellows Falls but then you would skip Montpelier and Waterbury.
  by Ridgefielder
 
Red Wing wrote: Mon Mar 22, 2021 3:47 pm Adding those stops will make the train slower and the Ethan Allen is not a commuter train. If you really wanted you could send the Vermonter to Burlington via Rutland from Bellows Falls but then you would skip Montpelier and Waterbury.
...and White River Jct., which serves both the tourist town of Woodstock and the college town of Hanover, NH, as well as the towns farther north up 91 along the river.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Unless if there is a good reason to add the stops of Charlotte, Shelburne, and South Burlington, it's not worth reviving those stations for Amtrak service. The Ethan Allen isn't meant to be a commuter rail train. The existing Ethan Allen Route isn't the fastest, especially on the former D&H. There is absolutely no way that the Vermonter will rerouted so that way it can serve Downtown Burlington and Rutland either. Montpelier and Waterbury shouldn't have to lose their rail service permanently.