Because we have your support, we are able to engage. Our work involves showing up. We show up at meetings. We engage the Agency of Transportation. We show up at the state house. We engage the railroads and Amtrak. We even show in Washington DC occassionaly, doing the work of advocating for better trains in Vermont.
Your gift gives us the resources to do this work. We are a pretty scrappy low-budget operation and we do a lot as volunteers. But, as well you know, it does take money, even if we leverage effectively. Thank you for your contribution.
Our volunteer board is from all over Vermont and all political parties. Our mailing list of 5,000 supporters gives us clout (and that’s another place we spend resources!). Our events bring advocates together and provide opportunities for leaders to meet advocates. Our communications, by e-mail, web site, media contacts, speaking and direct meetings advance the message.
Here is a short sampling of only the highlights of what you are helping to fund:
Western Corridor: Consistent attention in the media and behind the scenes helped encourage the Governor to commit to extending the Ethan Allen to Burlington by 2017. We followed up with conversations with Agency of Transportation leaders to underline its importance and encourage a more specific plan of work. We made it the focus of our Annual Meeting in Middlebury and of a board meeting to which The Secretary of Transportation and other AOT leaders were invited.
Montreal: We have been in communication with our delegation and AOT to monitor progress and with the Quebec government. We are planning a two country conference in Montreal at a future strategic moment. This year saw an award of TIGER funds to upgrade the track north of Saint Albans to the border.
Bikes on Trains: We have worked with the administration and the delegation to engage Amtrak, which (we are pleased to say) has completed design of on-board bike racks and will roll out a national program in a year or so.
Freight: With the TIGER upgrade north of Saint Albans, the New England Central Railroad will be upgraded to the national weight limit of 286,000 lbs as far as the Massachusetts border. We have supported efforts to upgrade the tracks into Massachusetts and Connecticut. We continue to support efforts to upgrade tracks on the Western side of the state.
Burlington Commuter Service: We’ve had conversations and helped refine plans for a future effort to establish Middlebury-Burlington-Essex Junction – Saint Albans/Montpelier Junction network.