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Vermont Rail Action Network

Vermont Rail Action Network

Promoting the revitalization of Vermont's rail network for passengers and freight

On May 11, Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced the Transportation Infrastructure Grants and Economic Reinvestment (TIGER) Act (S. 942), which would authorize additional federal funding for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program created in 2009. The bill would authorize the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide grants, direct loans and loan guarantees to states, local governments and transit agencies to help fund transportation projects. 

Vermont has previously applied to this program for funding to upgrade freight lines and bring Vermont's rail network in line with the national 286,000lbs standard.  It is possible Vermont would apply for funds from this source to purchase and renovate the White River Junction station.


The TIGER Act would continue to ensure that transportation projects are selected through a “transparent, competitive and merit-based process,” and that projects across the country are funded, the senators said in a joint statement. Several projects already funded under the TIGER grant program include a multi-modal transportation center in Normal, Ill., that will serve as a hub for Amtrak, intercity bus, local mass transit and other modes; and repairs to 233 miles of state-owned track in northern Maine that had been slated for abandonment, they said. 

“I have been thrilled by the successful transportation projects that have been funded in the two years since I established the TIGER grant program,” said Murray. “These projects are putting people to work, boosting regional economies and improving our country's infrastructure.”

Added Collins: “One of my highest priorities is to help ensure that our nation's transportation infrastructure does not fall into disrepair. Safe and efficient transportation is essential to economic recovery and cannot be left solely to state governments, which are struggling with budget shortfalls.”

S. 942 was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Upcoming Events

  • VRS 50th Anniversary Special Train from Bellows Falls
    » Register Now
    08/23/2014
    Departs at 10:00 am or 2:00 pm Reserve at http://www.vrs.us.com/vrs50trips.html In celebration of the Vermont Rail System 50th Anniversary.
  • Glory Days of the Railroad in White River Junction
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    09/13/2014 –09/13/2014
    Glory Days Festival celebrates its 22nd year as a family oriented, fun-filled, day long festival of the railroading and transportation modes of the past, present & future. Free Admission. For more information, see http://vtglorydaysfestival.com/ The Amtrak Exhibit Train is coming to Glory Days Festival. Climb aboard and tour a free exhibit to learn about Amtrak’s history and catch a glimpse into the company’s future. Displays include vintage advertising, past menus and dinnerware, period uniforms, photographs, and other items of memorabilia from Amtrak’s creation in 1971 to a model of today’s modern-sleeping accommodations and high-speed rail service displays. Interactive displays include railroad horns, trivia questions, workable signals and an engineer’s stand. Festival events include: Model train show, LEGO train show, Children entertainment, Main stage / music, food , excursion train rides on the White River Flyer($), engine displays, vintage cars and tractors, carnival rides, and food. The White River Flyer train excursion is a 45 minute ride along the scenic Connecticut River. Admission: $10.00 for all ages. Tickets are sold at the festival. Excursions run on the hour beginning at 10AM. The Children’s Stage will feature dazzling performers and the Main Stage will come alive with musicians from around New England. This event is produced by the Hartford Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Foliage Excursion Trains, Chester-Ludlow VT
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    09/23/2014 –10/14/2014
    Runs Tu, Th, Sat, Sun between Sept 23 and Oct 14th Leaves Chester at 10:00 for Ludlow, 12:30 for Rockingham and 2:45 for Ludlow. Leaves Ludow at 11:15 am, running round trip to Chester and Rockingham, returning at 3:30pm. Reservations at http://rails-vt.com/
  • VRS 50th Anniversary Special Train from Burlington
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    09/27/2014
  • Rutland Train Show
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    09/27/2014 –09/27/2014
    Rutland Railway Association invites you to the annual train show, formerly at the Howe Center, now at the Holiday Inn, with model railroads on display, dealers and displays. We'll be there too.
  • St. Albans Annual Meeting: "Montreal Here We Come"
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    11/13/2014 –11/13/2014
    Join fellow rail advocates at the St. Albans Historical Museum to celebrate the value of rail in Vermont. This year's theme honors the hope to upgrade freight and extend passenger train service to Montreal.