The New England Central Railroad has finished three quarters of the Vermonter route upgrade, part of the ARRA stimulus fund.
All 18 trainloads of rail has been laid while ties, surfacing and bridge work will continue south of White River Junction this spring and summer to instal 50,000 ties, redo 25 switches and strengthen and speed up 15 bridges.
At certain times the work will cause delay's to Amtrak's Vermonter by up to 30 minutes. This is because after new ties and ballast have been installed, the track must settle a bit and slow orders are imposed until it does.
When finished the project will result in a schedule within Vermont that is 27 minutes faster. Massachusetts and Connecticut have their own projects (Massachusetts will be done in 2013, Connecticut in 2016) that will bring futher speed improvements en-route to New York.
The project has received a "no findings" status from the federal audit, which is good.
The goal is to finish work by September 12th, after which the track geometry car will visit and measure and certify to work, with speeds raised by the fall time change.
The project is on track to be the first "high-speed" stimulus fund project completed.