• 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 Hawaiitiki
This route, uniquely for Amtrak in the Northeast, has three new build stations. Yes, they might be at historical station sites but all actual used infrastructure (ie platforms, overhangs ...etc) seem completely new. I thought there was an ADA-requirement for all new builds to have ADA level boarding, but I can never keep it straight. Are mini-highs ok? (from all pictures, I've seen, they don't have these either) Is this only required when the federal government actually funds the stations?

There are obviously some loopholes they use to cut costs because, regardless of ADA rules, it seems incredibly short-sighted to not build high levels where you have more/less a blank slate.
  by Arborwayfan
Amtrak's website lists a wheelchair lift at Middlebury and Burlington (the ones I checked). I assume that's (a) legal and (b) a lot cheaper than any kind of high platform. (But I don't know how much a lot is.) Also the low platform won't interfere with freight clearances. There won't be ramps that need to be kept free of ice in winter. But it will slow down boarding a bit when there's a passenger who can't climb stairs, and it will be less inviting to such passengers, and call attention to them in an unwanted manner. And high-levels not only let people who absolutely can't climb the steps ride the train, they also make boarding a lot easier for people who can climb the steps, but with difficulty.

Are freight clearances even an issue in Burlington? Isn't the station the last thing on the line, where no freight is likely to go?

Perhaps, though, Vermont and Amtrak assume that relatively soon this route will get Siemens cars with lifts included?
  by Allouette
Vergennes-Ferrisburgh has a wheelchair lift in a shed. Lifts can be used for ambulatory passengers as well as wheelchairs.
  by markhb
Hawaiitiki wrote: Mon Nov 14, 2022 8:15 am This route, uniquely for Amtrak in the Northeast, has three new build stations. Yes, they might be at historical station sites but all actual used infrastructure (ie platforms, overhangs ...etc) seem completely new.
If "new build" means the station isn't a restored pre-A-Day station, then nearly all the Maine and NH stations on the Downeaster fit the description. Definitely all the platforms and overhangs are new, and of the stations with waiting rooms almost none are vintage.
  by Allouette
The Ferrisburgh-Vergennes station was the Rutland's station in Vergennes, where it was on the west side of the tracks just south of 22A. It was moved to its present site about ten years ago.
  by shadyjay
I think its awesome they were able to relocate and reuse the Vergennes station. The problem experienced today in rail stations is that most were built in downtown areas which are often crowded and lack adequate space for parking, etc, hence why in so many locations, the old station isn't used, in favor of one a little farther away from the center of town in order to accomodate parking, a second platform, and to get people coming in from other areas.
  by NHV 669
Arborwayfan wrote: Mon Nov 14, 2022 7:28 pm Oh, so it does. Don't know why I thought it was the end of the line.
End of regular VRS usage, other than the short remaining stub of the Island Line they use to store cars on.
  by jp1822
I always find it tricky to find the "tunnel" that could or does take trains from downtown Burlington Union Station over to Essex Junction......

This has probably already been discussed, but I am also a little surprised that basically Amtrak has it timed that both the Ethan Allen and Vermonter leave and arrive Burlington-Essex Junction area within 60 to 90 minutes of each other. I know a lot of this hovers around crew availability and assignments, and I am SO grateful to see the extension to Burlington, VT.

At the same token, a morning departure southbound out of Burlington-Essex Junction for the Vermonter and an early afternoon departure out of Burlington Union Station for the Ethan Allen Express would have offered a bit of flexibility or choices. Hands down, Burlington is a major hub for both these trains now.

Only thing I can think of northbound is perhaps the Ethan Allen Express being the train that arrives at some point at or after 11 pm to Burlington - thus having a later departure out of NYC in the late 3 pm hour, but certainly not as late as its old 5:45 pm departure.

Likewise, only thing I can suggest for the Vermonter is to run it out of Washington DC early - like 6 am even (Palmetto leaves at 6:02 am out of NYC for Savannah) - so as to allow it to be more of a "day train" into and through Vermont. A tightening up of the schedule on the NEC and into Springfield could potentially get the Vermonter into Essex Junction-Burlington by a goal of 7 pm. Last time I was on the Vermonter, it could have used some tightening up on its schedule at various points along the entire route. Thus:

- Southbound, early morning departure for the Vermonter on its meandering route through Vermont to Springfield
- Southbound, early afternoon departure for the Ethan Allen Express to NYC (a bit more direct, but Rutland maneuver still causing a delay).
- Northbound, arrival into Essex Junction-Burlington by 7 pm on the Vermonter.
- Northbound, arrival into Burlington Union Station by 11:00 pm on the Ethan Allen Express.

Northbound Ethan Allen and Vermonter arrive into the Burlington-Essex Junction area within 90 minutes of each other. Southbound, they depart within 60 minutes of each other.

Southbound the Vermonter used to have some good interchange traffic with the east and westbound Lake Shore Limited at Springfield. Some interconnectivity, once again, would help and go a long way. A connection at Springfield to Boston, used to have a descent amount of transferring passengers. One of the last "inland Regional trains" specifically left Boston early enough to make the arrival into Springfield and connection to northbound Vermonter.....Course this is also when the bus connection from Montreal to St. Albans was also largely in place. It too had a pretty good amount of connecting traffic to/from the train in St. Albans..........Remnants of the old overnight Montrealer........
  by Train60
What's with all the padding in Train 290's schedule north of Rutland?

Yesterday, as just one example, the train sat in Rutland for 34 minutes, for a scheduled 10 minute stop to change ends.

Makes you wonder if this is so the crew can have a lunch break.
Last edited by Train60 on Fri Jan 20, 2023 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by Railjunkie
That is called getting a good trip, crews eat as they go no scheduled breaks.
  by Jeff Smith
https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/bur ... d=37484535
Early ridership numbers show that there’s strong interest in the 6-month-old Ethan Allen Express rail service between Burlington and New York City.

Using statistics from Trains in the Valley, a rail advocacy organization in western Massachusetts, Vermont rail booster Carl Fowler reported that the extended Ethan Allen Express route — which began service to Burlington on July 29 — surpassed advocates' expectations by transporting 7,800 riders in October and 8,000 riders in November, the last month for which figures are available.

“To put it mildly the news is good,” Fowler, a member of the Vermont Rail Advisory Council, announced on Facebook on January 20. He was celebrating not only the interest in the Burlington service but also evidence that extending the route — which used to terminate in Rutland — didn’t siphon passengers from the existing Amtrak train in northern Vermont, the Vermonter.
  • 1
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25