• 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

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  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Prof. Martens, Vermont made known what they wanted. "Two a Day" over the CV certainly would have been less $$ (cheaper) than taking the Rutland, at best an FRA Class 2 (passenger 30mph), and making it a Class 3 (passenger 60mph; believe minimum Amtrak will operate over). "Two a Day", but serving more of the state.
  by jbvb
 
Serving Bennington & Manchester VT via the original Troy & Boston route from Johnsonville to Troy via Lansingburgh is out; it was abandoned in the 1960s. I've seen hints that clearances on the Troy Union RR were poor. An alternative that still existed in the 1970s was the D&H from Albany to Mechanicville; The 1976 Adirondack went that way, passing under the NYC line from West Albany to Rensselaer, backing from D&H track up a ramp to the NYC line and proceeding forward across the Hudson. If that line is irretrievably gone, then we are indeed stuck with going via Schenectady.
  by Railjunkie
 
jbvb wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:52 pm Serving Bennington & Manchester VT via the original Troy & Boston route from Johnsonville to Troy via Lansingburgh is out; it was abandoned in the 1960s. I've seen hints that clearances on the Troy Union RR were poor. An alternative that still existed in the 1970s was the D&H from Albany to Mechanicville; The 1976 Adirondack went that way, passing under the NYC line from West Albany to Rensselaer, backing from D&H track up a ramp to the NYC line and proceeding forward across the Hudson. If that line is irretrievably gone, then we are indeed stuck with going via Schenectady.
This rumor has been around for 15 years or more between the Vermont and the purposed commuter service Saratoga to Albany using the connection between the D&H and NYC aka "Bull Run". It is still there, however it would take an act of congress to get trains running on it again.

A long while back a D&H/CP freight train was short on time and needed to get to Kenwood yard (D&H) the easy way would have been Bull Run, less than two miles. The hard way was up through Schenectady through Mohawk yard out the freight main down to Albany. Way more than thirty. After repeated pleas by the freight crew and I guess dispatcher attempts at getting permission from someone with a higher pay grade the decision was made not today not ever. So the train laid up in Rennselaer.

I just don't see it happening its kinda no mans land now. 24yrs playing trains and I have never seen nor heard of anything going up or down Bull Run
  by jp1822
 
In thinking about Vermont Passenger Rail Service......

- It's too bad the Vermonter doesn't have a descent connection at Springfield to connect with Boston. When the inland route was more popular with Regional trains (pardon me - Northeast Direct trains), there was a descent amount of interchange handled at Boston, and their was even a high speed train desire between Boston and Montreal. I've even thought about if there's a way to split the Vermonter at Springfield and send say two cars to Boston and the rest to Washington DC.

- Vermonter needs its extension to Montreal - but only via the cross-border clearance method to be done at Montreal train station.

- Vermont would be better served if it could get the Ethan Allen Express "into Vermont" at North Bennington and then straight up the west side of Vermont (and Lake Champlain) to Rutland. The current incremental approach to get the EAE to Burlington is certainly to be applauded.

In terms of the overnight service - if you talk to the "caretakers" on this route who remember the Montrealer (and riders), they also say that this was a heavily patronized train - some saying more so than even the current Vermonter, and not just ski season or winter. In some of the schedules, the northbound departed Washington DC at 4:30 pm or so and then hit ideal times in Philly and NYC to get people to Vermont by early next morning. Montrealer was in Brattleboro close to 5 am on some schedules - not all that bad. The goal was to be in Montreal before 11 am. Many Vermonters (especially out of Burlington) used to take the train north for a day-trip in Montreal and then catch the southbound home when it departed Montreal after 5 pm - similar to the Seattle - Vancouver, BC train. Returning back, Brattleboro was around midnight or so, and then good morning departures on the Corridor from NYP and south. IF ever re-instated, the train would likely HOLD in Springfield a bit to try and get more passenger friendly times north to Vermont and south to the NEC.

So it could still be a good Vermont and Montreal based overnight train, it's just that I strongly doubt Vermont is going to come up with a subsidy large enough to meet Amtrak's requirements with sleeper cars along for the ride. Amtrak is also not in the market for establishing new LD trains. The mileage is around 650 and 700 so not sure if the powers that be could be convinced to make it a National based train! It largely got axed in the mid 90's due to shortage of Heritage Sleepers and not enough Viewliners to replace them in time for the "no dump" rule to take place by 2000.....Vermont got strong-armed a bit to come up with the money to make it a day train and all parties proceeded accordingly.
  by Hawaiitiki
 
Ridgefielder wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:27 pm 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.
Thanks. Didn't know there was a previous alignment in NY State. Crazy how that alignment went directly through what is now a residential district in Troy. And even then the approach to Troy Union Station abutted extremely tightly to neighboring buildings. (worth a google), but all remnants are gone now, and will certainly stay gone for those reasons.

So yea if this ever happens Amtrak would be using pre-existing more circuitous trackage after years of negotiation. (Probably not worth the trouble for "Metropolises" of Bennington, whose downtown spur is long abandoned, & Manchester, VT.)
  by Ridgefielder
 
Downtown Bennington was never served by any of the Rutland through services between NY and Montreal. The track there was part of the Rutland's "corkscrew" division which went south over the hills through Petersburg and New Lebanon, NY to a junction with the B&A and the NYC's Harlem Division at Chatham, NY. The corkscrew was always a marginal operation. All the through trains stopped at North Bennington, which was the junction with the B&M.

As for "metropolises" -- I don't know Bennington that well. However I do think that by Vermont standards Manchester has the potential to be a decently-busy station. Its the center of a popular vacation area, and a station there would be very convenient to both the Stratton Mountain and Bromley Peak ski areas.
  by Greg Moore
 
I know Bennington quite well (I have family there).
Yes, the Corkscrew route wasn't a great one, but it's fun to pick out the remnants of it when driving around. My mom's house is less than a 1/4 mile from the old roadbed.

That said, Bennington is a great larger town, and while it attracts its fair share of tourists, there's a reason they're slowly building a bypass around the town (it's literally been in the works my entire life). Tourists want to go east towards Wilmington (so they can head north into the center of Vermont for skiing) or go north to Manchester. Manchester has a LOT of factory stores and other shopping attractions.

The route through North Bennington is a definitely a viable one. A stop at North Bennington would pick up some traffic, but I have to agree that Manchester has the potential for a lot more traffic.
And given where the station most likely would go, having busses meeting trains to take folks up to the ski areas would be a win-win.

That said, it would still be far faster to take the train to Albany and get a car or bus there. The advantages of a train to Manchester from NYC would be for the leaf-peepers and the like who want a single seat ride all the (or at most, a transfer in Albany).

That said, I still definitely support it and think it's a win for Vermont if it ever happens.
  by BandA
 
How many people are willing to take a train that takes longer? Unless it is to avoid high parking costs or people from NYC that don't have cars.
  by Arborwayfan
 
Those two, plus people who have work or fun stuff they can do in the train that they can't do if they're driving.
  by Greg Moore
 
BandA wrote: Sat Oct 23, 2021 3:47 pm How many people are willing to take a train that takes longer? Unless it is to avoid high parking costs or people from NYC that don't have cars.
A LOT of people in NYC don't have cars. So done correctly, with shuttles from the train station to the ski resorts, I definitely think there's a market for folks who would leave the city early on Friday so they can hit the slopes first thing Monday morning.

Car ownership in NYC is EXPENSIVE.
  by Railjunkie
 
Greg Moore wrote: Sun Oct 24, 2021 6:07 pm
BandA wrote: Sat Oct 23, 2021 3:47 pm How many people are willing to take a train that takes longer? Unless it is to avoid high parking costs or people from NYC that don't have cars.
A LOT of people in NYC don't have cars. So done correctly, with shuttles from the train station to the ski resorts, I definitely think there's a market for folks who would leave the city early on Friday so they can hit the slopes first thing Monday morning.

Car ownership in NYC is EXPENSIVE.
This was done, back in 1998-99 as an LSA I held AMT 296 out of RUD on Sunday nights. The train was always packed during ski season. Amtrak and Killington had an agreement for shuttle service to and from the the station on Friday and Sunday nights. Plus they would make sure to put out snow reports on the trains during the week to help drum up business. On occasion Killington would put on some "talent" on to help promote condo sales around the mountain and surrounding area.
  by Pensyfan19
 
A Test Train along the Ethen Allen Expansion ran yesterday. Sounds like a good sign!

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/785622/
Amtrak New Haven. On Sunday, October 24, 2021, Amtrak Train 868 operated from Rutland, VT to Burlington, VT (returning as train 869) to start qualifying Amtrak crews over this future extension of the Ethan Allen Express, which currently operates between New York's Penn Station to Rutland. Amtrak 406 (F40NPCU) operated as a cab for P32AC-DM 713 to facilitate the training, the first time this unit has been on the road in over a year and a half. The train is seen crossing the New Haven River in New Haven, VT. As stations are still under construction, a start date has not yet been set for this additional service, but with the completion of the Middlebury, VT rail tunnel, it appears to be soon.
  by jp1822
 
I wonder if this will be the "setup" whereby a F40 NPCU will operate on one end, instead of a former Metroliner cab car. The F40 has to be added at Albany! I don't think they will turn the train in Burlington........

In terms of driving, most can make a destination quicker if they drive to/from Vermont than take the Vermonter. Sometimes it comes down to convenience of having someone else do the driving!
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Don't be surprised if a P32AC-DM is put on both ends of the Ethan Allen while it's still using Amfleet I cars. Sometimes, Empire Service trains have had P32AC-DMs on both ends of the consists.
  by Railjunkie
 
That was the second set of trips, currently just management. The schedule is as follows, the extra set is tacked onto the rear of AMT 295 Saturday night for the Sunday trip to Burlington, return Monday. The F40 works in VT because it has no I-ETMS or ACSES which allows it to be used as a leader. Once it hits the CP or Amtrak it has to be the trail unit.

With the qualification of crews starting this week back to Montreal, Burlington looks like an early summer start date.
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