• Ethan Allen Discussion, including Expansion (Burlington)

  • 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 Train60
 
Anthony wrote: Sun Oct 10, 2021 4:09 pm Amtrak is working to bring back the Montrealer, which would likely mean the current Vermonter's schedule will revert to the overnight schedule. If the Montrealer is restored, it would make sense to extend the Ethan Allen another 8 miles to Essex Junction to connect with the revived Montrealer.
Amtrak and VTrans are working to extend the existing Vermonter day-time service to Montreal. (See https://www.amtrakconnectsus.com/wp-con ... maps-2.pdf ) There is no active work underway to re-establish an overnight train along this route from what I understand. If you have other information please share it. Thanks.
  by Alphaboi
 
Which is understandable, but disappointing. An overnight train between NYC and Montreal would be much more convenient for travel between them, but Vermont is unlikely to fund it. It'd only work if Quebec decided to fund it and even then where would the sleeping cars come from?

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  by conductorchris
 
I was misquoted in the paragraph above about the schedule going overnight. I had told the reporter something along the lines of that many people missed the overnight train and the editor modified the language to present a falsehood. (At least the VTDigger still has editors at work. When I wrote for the local paper, everything I wrote went in without alteration).
  by west point
 
An Overnight train thru Vermont has an advantage in winter. We took it to go to skiing many years ago as air fare was outrageous. You can get a full day(s) of skiing and then leave late in the last evening of skiing. Can imagine that the Ethan Allen route late night might also work in winter ?
  by Hawaiitiki
 
Now that the Ethan Allen is most certainly being extended to Burlington Union Station. Is there any effort/political will for Vermont's dream Ethan Allen alignment? ...
Entering Vermont at its Southeasterly corner near North Bennington and running completely through VT to Burlington?This would provide the medium sized towns of Bennington and Manchester (VT) with service, and remove the k-turn in Rutland. And Saratoga and Fort Edward would retain Adirondack service.

There are some old PDFs with this alignment listed but really havent seen it addressed in years. And all is active, semi-good condition freight track.
  by Ridgefielder
 
Hawaiitiki wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 8:06 am Now that the Ethan Allen is most certainly being extended to Burlington Union Station. Is there any effort/political will for Vermont's dream Ethan Allen alignment? ...
Entering Vermont at its Southeasterly corner near North Bennington and running completely through VT to Burlington?This would provide the medium sized towns of Bennington and Manchester (VT) with service, and remove the k-turn in Rutland. And Saratoga and Fort Edward would retain Adirondack service.

There are some old PDFs with this alignment listed but really havent seen it addressed in years. And all is active, semi-good condition freight track.
As I understand it the big hurdle here is not the track in Vermont. The hurdle is in NY State.

The B&M passenger main between Troy and Johnsonville-- the route used by the NYC/B&M/RUT Green Mountain Flyer and Mount Royal back in the day-- has been gone for decades. Any passenger service to North Bennington from Albany would have to operate via Schenectady and Mechanicsville on the PanAm Southern freight main. With PAR/PAS in the middle of a potential merger with CSX it's going to be a while before the dust settles enough for anyone to even start thinking of what would have to happen to make this a reality.
  by Anthony
 
njtmnrrbuff wrote: Sun Oct 10, 2021 6:57 pm No, Amtrak is not bringing back the Montrealer. Yes, they are working on extending the Vermonter from St. Albans to Montreal which is much needed.

Back to the Ethan Allen-yes, the Ethan Allen will probably depart NYP at 3:15 and will arrive into Downtown Burlington at around 10:00. That's a pretty good departure as it doesn't involve people having to arrive into Burlington too late at night. Once people get to Burlington, it doesn't mean that their destination is in Burlington. It could be well north of there closer to St. Albans. The southbound from Burlington is expected to depart 10ish in the morning.
Yes, the daytime service on the extended Vermonter would be better, but I didn't think the schedule would work any longer as a day train if it were extended to Montreal because it would be too long. It can barely cover the distance of the route in one day. This is why I just assumed they were going to go back to the night schedule as part of the extension. I know that there is going to be a pre-clearance facility in Montreal, so border crossing issues won't be as much as a problem. Finally, if the service expansion happens, it would make sense to bring back the Montrealer name, as that is where it would be terminating in that case.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Gents, let us not lose sight that states subsidize trains with the intent of bringing people to attractions WITHIN their state, and not for people to ride THROUGH their state.

While an overnight train on a schedule emulating the Montrealer or the Montreal Limited (did the Rutland RR ever have one of such???) could attract end point patronage, it's not going to do much for the attractions in Vermont or the Adirondack region of NY.
  by rohr turbo
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:54 pm Gents, let us not lose sight that states subsidize trains with the intent of bringing people to attractions WITHIN their state, and not for people to ride THROUGH their state.

While an overnight train on a schedule emulating the Montrealer or the Montreal Limited (did the Rutland RR ever have one of such???) could attract end point patronage, it's not going to do much for the attractions in Vermont or the Adirondack region of NY.
I think that argument is short-sighted.
1. Adirondack is 403b and includes Montreal
2. Not impossible that Montreal residents would like to travel to Vermont.
3. (most important) I think that tapping a very large population center by adding 71 miles (on already upgraded tracks) will increase ridership and revenues by more than the incremental operating cost (IMO.) A win-win.

Maybe Amtrak would lock Vermont's operating subsidy per Vermont-alighting passenger as not-to-exceed 2019 level. Now bring on the Canadians, even if they are through passengers!
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
rohr turbo wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:50 pm Maybe Amtrak would lock Vermont's operating subsidy per Vermont-alighting passenger as not-to-exceed 2019 level. Now bring on the Canadians, even if they are through passengers!
Mr. Rohr, that's a worthwhile point.

Now if the "ICEMEN" and their Canadian counterparts could ever get their acts together, it might then be worthwhile for Amtrak, the Vermont funding agency, and VIA (servicing) to get on the same page and extend the existing train.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by BM1566GP7
 
Fort Edward NY and Saratoga Springs NY especially benefit greatly from the current schedule of the Ethan Allen. A mid-morning southbound departure to NYP and an eveving arrival from NYp to those stations is well patronized. A new EA schedule will change that operation.
  by shadyjay
 
Anthony wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:41 pm Yes, the daytime service on the extended Vermonter would be better, but I didn't think the schedule would work any longer as a day train if it were extended to Montreal because it would be too long. It can barely cover the distance of the route in one day. This is why I just assumed they were going to go back to the night schedule as part of the extension. I know that there is going to be a pre-clearance facility in Montreal, so border crossing issues won't be as much as a problem. Finally, if the service expansion happens, it would make sense to bring back the Montrealer name, as that is where it would be terminating in that case.
If you look at every single track upgrade project along the Vermonter's route in the past 10 years (between the ARRA funding & the Conn River reroute), it has resulted in the Vermonter's departure time from SAB being pushed back... when the Vermonter first started, it departed SAB around 0730, and as of late, I believe its around 0900. When you had a 0730 departure, that meant the bus connection from Montreal had to leave at around 0500. No wonder it didn't last too long! Now, even a train connection could probably leave at the more-reasonable hour of 7am (or 8am) and still have plenty of time to make the trip.
  by Arborwayfan
 
rohr turbo wrote:1. Adirondack is 403b and includes Montreal
2. Not impossible that Montreal residents would like to travel to Vermont.
3. (most important) I think that tapping a very large population center by adding 71 miles (on already upgraded tracks) will increase ridership and revenues by more than the incremental operating cost (IMO.) A win-win.
All three points work better for a day train than for a night train. If Vermont is paying, Vermont will want pleasant arrival times at all Vermont stations in both directions. Sure, Leaving Montreal at 6 in the evening and getting to Burlington at midnight wouldn't be so bad, but who'd want to get to Windsor-Mt Ascutney at two or three or whenever it would be?

If there's a big enough market for overnight Montreal-NYP passengers to justify an overnight train between those points, it should be an additional train, not a replacement for a train that currently serves VT points pretty well. Such a night train could operate on either the Adirondack route or the Vermonter-Montrealer route, using the same pool of crews; it could perhaps skip many of the stations so that it could go faster AND be more flexible around host railroad dispatching needs (one night there's a long wait north of Albany, the next night a long wait north of Port Kent instead, etc.). Design a perfect night-train schedule, and then see if it can pay for itself, or attract subsidies from the points it serves at reasonable times. If it can't, don't run it any more. :-D
  by Ridgefielder
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:54 pm Gents, let us not lose sight that states subsidize trains with the intent of bringing people to attractions WITHIN their state, and not for people to ride THROUGH their state.

While an overnight train on a schedule emulating the Montrealer or the Montreal Limited (did the Rutland RR ever have one of such???) could attract end point patronage, it's not going to do much for the attractions in Vermont or the Adirondack region of NY.
The Rutland operated a night train called The Mount Royal in conjunction with the NY Central and the B&M. Boston & NY sections were split/combined at Rutland. Boston section was handed off to the B&M at Bellows Falls and reached North Station via the Cheshire Branch and Fitchburg. NY section was handed off to the B&M at North Bennington, then to the NYC at Troy. The daytime counterpart was The Green Mountain Flyer.

As for bringing people INTO their states-- yes, that's absolutely true. And that's why VT wants service to Montreal, which is by far the closest major city to northern Vermont. Burlington is 70 miles from Montreal as the crow flies; its 180 miles to Boston and 270 miles to New York. Rutland is equidistant between Boston and Montreal but there are a couple mountain ranges between there and the New England coast.

Even allowing for whatever security-theater shenanigans would have to go on at the international border in East Alburgh, Burlington is a no-brainer in terms of passenger rail distance. And the population of the Montreal metro area is >3x the population of the entire State of Vermont.

Now since it *is* that close there's nothing that would preclude an overnight service, since a 6pm departure from Montreal would imply an arrival in Burlington sometime between 8 or 9. I don't think this is what VT is looking to do, but it's not an absurdity.
  by Arborwayfan
 
OK, I guess the times are different from what I was imagining. Looking at an old Montrealer timetable and roughly adjusting for a 6 pm dep from Montreal and somewhat faster times in VT, an overnight train could be reasonable between Montreal and stations as far south as Montpelier, maybe even as far as White River Jct (not in VT but practically speaking one of the VT stations). And that pair of trains could also be reasonable between northern VT and NEC stations from NYP to the south, maybe even the coastal Connecticut stations. But New Haven would probably be at borderline irritating times, and Hartford, Springfield, and southern VT would be in the wee hours. A day train could include the Montreal without losing those areas.

As usual, 2x/day would make the train attractive to a lot more potential travelers between a lot more city pairs, and might have a good chance of generating 3x the passengers. But that would still not be enough to run 2x/day for the same price as 1x/day..., and given one VT subsidy I would think the day train would be the best bet.
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