Passenger train service returns to Vermont after long hiatus

Vermonters saw another big step Monday in their state’s continued recovery from the effects of COVID-19 when Amtrak resumed passenger service in Green Mountain State for the first time in 16 months. said Calvin Schweers, 9, as he waited for the Vermonter train to arrive at the St. Albans station on Monday morning. “On COVID-19 I tried to catch trains videos, I tried to catch trains. I really like them.” Schweers was among the crowd of community members and local and state leaders who gathered in St. East, appropriately known as Rail City – to celebrate Amtrak’s return to the rails in Vermont. . In addition to Amtrak’s Vermonter line, its Ethan Allen Express also resumed service on Monday, following a celebration in Rutland. is rolling to New York, Washington and other northeast stops after a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I think it’s an important connection to the south,” said Sherry Ceresa of St. Albans, who along with her husband, Joe, took advantage of a special one-day rate to tour Vermonter in the State for only $1. The couple said they missed the train in St. Albans. can hear the ‘clack clack clack’ of the wheels on the rails,” Sherry Ceresa recalled. “I don’t know, it’s kind of the comforting sound.” You might wonder what took so long for that Even though Vermont dropped all of its COVID-19 restrictions more than a month ago when it hit a national-leading 80% vaccination rate, state transportation officials have said Amtrak needed more time to get equipment back in place and employees certified on safety procedures after all those months away.”We now have Amtrak going north to south,” said Dan Delabruere , who heads the rail and aviation office of the Vermont Agency of Transportation. “Very excited about this. I think it’s kind of a milestone to get back to normal, because rail service is so important to Vermont.” In 2019, the Vermonter carried nearly 100,000 passengers, according to Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, D -Vermont, who participated in Monday’s St. Albans celebration and then took the train to Essex state, region and nation by train,” Gray said, adding that she supports the proposals. of President Joe Biden and the three-person Vermont congressional delegation to invest federal dollars in rail infrastructure and high-speed rail travel. Delabruere said early bookings on the newly-restarted rail service have been strong, indicating to him travelers have pent-up demand to explore the state and region. Schweers said before boarding the Vermonter that he was looking forward to a more spacious trip than a car offers, with different views than he would see from the road. “It will pass some very beautiful scenes,” Schweers predicted of his train journey from St. Albans to Brattleboro. his Twitter feed that federal and company rules still require masks on trains and other public transportation until further notice.

Vermonters saw another big step Monday in their state’s continued recovery from the effects of COVID-19 when Amtrak resumed passenger service in Green Mountain State for the first time in 16 months.

“I’m excited — really, really excited for this,” Calvin Schweers, 9, said as he waited for the Vermonter train to arrive at the St. Albans station Monday morning. “On COVID-19, I tried to catch videos of trains, I tried to catch [freight] the trains. I just really like them.”

Schweers was among the crowd of community members and local and state leaders who gathered in St. Albans — which is, appropriately, known as Rail City — to celebrate Amtrak’s return to the good track in Vermont.

In addition to Amtrak’s Vermonter line, its Ethan Allen Express also resumed service on Monday, following a celebration in Rutland.

The kickoffs mean the service, once again, is rolling to New York, Washington and other northeast stops after a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think it’s an important connection to the south,” said Sherry Ceresa of St. Albans, who along with her husband, Joe, took advantage of a special one-day rate to tour Vermonter in the State for only $1.

The couple said they missed the train in St. Albans.

“In the winter when it’s really quiet and really quiet, you can hear the ‘clack clack clack’ of the wheels on the tracks,” Sherry Ceresa recalled. “I don’t know, it’s kind of a comforting sound.”

You may be wondering why it took so long for service to return.

Even though Vermont dropped all of its COVID-19 restrictions more than a month ago when it reached an 80% national vaccination rate, state transportation officials said Amtrak needed more time to get equipment back in place and employees certified on safety procedures after all those months.

“We now have Amtrak going north to south,” said Dan Delabruere, who heads the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s office of railroads and aviation. “I’m very excited about this. I think it’s kind of a milestone for getting back to normal, because rail service is so important to Vermont.”

In 2019, the Vermonter carried nearly 100,000 passengers, according to Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, D-Vermont, who attended the St. Albans celebration on Monday and then took the train to Essex.

“Not only does today’s return to service mark an important milestone in our successful fight against COVID-19, but also renewed opportunity for Vermonters to travel by rail across the state, region and country.” , Gray said, adding that she supports the president’s proposals. Joe Biden and the three-person Vermont congressional delegation to invest federal dollars in rail infrastructure and high-speed rail travel.

Delabruere said early bookings on the recently restarted rail service have been strong, indicating to him travelers have pent-up demand to explore the state and region.

Schweers said before boarding the Vermonter that he looked forward to a more spacious trip than that offered by a car, with views different from those he would see from the road.

“It’s going to go through some really great scenes,” Schweers predicted of his train ride from St. Albans to Brattleboro.

Regardless of local regulations, Amtrak emphasized in a press release and on its Twitter feed that federal and company rules still require masks on trains and other public transportation until further notice.

Jose P. Rogers