We are fortunate to have two Amtrak train services return to Vermont. The Vermont Rail Action Network (VRAN) is encouraging everyone to discover the train as a preferred way to travel over the car or airline. And we have good reason to celebrate the return of Amtrak as it connects our communities and offers a fun low carbon transportation option.
On July 19th, the Vermonter will return to St Albans with daily service to Washington DC and the Ethan Allen will return to Rutland, with service to the newly renovated Penn Station in New York City. Traveling by train is fun and good for the climate too.
Did you know that traveling by car versus a train generates about 100 times more carbon emissions? Aside from walking and biking, traveling by train is a great choice to battle carbon pollution. If more people chose buses and trains, we’d help reverse the trends from Vermont’s largest greenhouse gas sector. It also benefits the economy, environment and people who enjoy sharing a ride. Leave your car at home and hop on the train!
Amtrak not only links Vermont communities together it connects us to the region and the U.S. Soon it’ll connect us to Montreal. Many Vermonters remember how the train got them to bigger villages, cities and downtowns. Imagine getting back to the future, having rail and bus service integrated and servicing Vermont cities and towns like it used to.
Making buses and the train seamless and connected to Vermont’s cities and villages including Barre, Montpelier, Burlington, Essex Junction, Middlebury, Rutland, Brattleboro, Bellows Falls, Keene, Claremont and White River Junction is essential to meeting Vermont’s 2030 carbon reduction goals.
How fun would it be to take a day trip using the south and northbound Vermonter?
Next year Burlington will be linked to the Ethan Allen providing direct service to Manhattan.
VRAN members should continue to encourage our transportation and rail leaders to make our rail system a priority. Each year more than 100,000 people ride Amtrak trains. Let’s grow this number and advocate to brand Vermont on Amtrak’s train services. This is at the top of VRAN’s list: develop and showcase Vermont’s brand on our two Amtrak trains (the Ethan Allen and the Vermonter).
What does this mean? When we get on the train, it should feel like Vermont. Staffed with Vermont service workers and supplied with Vermont foods. What better way to show off the unique value of Vermont through our local products represented by Vermonters with stories.
What about featured special events and destinations, all part of an overall promotion. Could Vermont Tourism partners, communities, VRAN and others work together to make Vermont an inviting state to be and be known for great hospitality.
What better time to develop a shared marketing campaign between Amtrak and our community. It just might improve our reach to new audiences. Let’s re-imagine and make a strong appeal to overnight visitors and patrons to Vermont’s resorts, hotels, Air B&B’s, restaurants and shops. Our beautiful state has a lot to offer to visitors and Vermonters alike.
Our vast area sports trails, world class mountain biking trails are worth sharing too, since Amtrak (through the efforts of VRAN), now allow bikes on the train. Skis have always been welcome!
If you are seeking more information about tickets, visit Amtrak.com. Look for special fares and for instate trips on July 19th. You can travel by coach between any two stations in Vermont for just $1.00 each way. If you are a rail enthusiast, consider joining VRAN (railvermont.org).
Let’s welcome passenger service back to St Albans and Rutland on July 19th! …..And give your car a break, take the train.