Did a roundtrip on the Vermonter this past weekend, as part of my trip to ride the Amtrak Autumn Express. Southbound was delayed for a while, as follows: several slow orders after leaving Waterbury, SB, more so than usual. Then more slow orders from Montpelier to White River Jct, mostly due to the rock ledges. I'm not sure what's being done about this, but I did notice what looked like some rock ledge excavation at one point or another. I know the slow orders were as a result of the derailment a couple years ago, but are the slow orders something we're going to have to live with? It's a bummer to be going along at 59 MPH then slow down to 10 MPH then back up to speed, then slow down again.
South of WRJ to Windsor was mostly at speed, except one or two slow spots.
The NH side of the "Conn River" was in great shape, hitting 79 mph for several sections.
Between Bellows Falls and Brattleboro, we were at 30 mph for a good portion of it, per an announcement due to tie replacement. We did hit 59 or 79 mph in one section briefly, then back down to 30.
The connection from the NECR to PAS at East Northfield was definitely faster than my trip on the route last Christmas. Back then it was 10. I didn't do a speed check over it this time, though.
The Mass. portion of the Conn River we moved along at a descent clip, again hitting 79 mph mostly between Greenfield and Northampton. Some sections between Holyoke and Springfield we also were up to (at least) 50 or so but slowed down around the I-91 overpass.
No delays crossing CSX at all. Southbound, we didn't stop until we hit the reverse direction point by the old mail facility. And we were off the advertised, too. Good job, CSX!
Disclaimer: speeds indicated above were from my phone's speedometer app and are approximate)
Still not sure what's going on around Holyoke station where there are still signals turned sideways and new track construction that hasn't been completed. There's also something going on around Bernardston (2nd track?) and stacks of ties laid out between Northampton and Deerfield. Is a 2nd track reactivation planned for somewhere towards Deerfield? Looks like there was some work on the old siding there. Finally, Springfield station has a new track north of CSX Track 1 (future Track 3 or 5?) that is not connected to the main. There's also open platform canopies and the old stairways/elevators removed on two of the platforms. I'm not sure why the existing stairways/elevators couldn't be saved and just "stepped up" to meet the future high level platform height.