Ethan Allen to Burlington: Talking Points

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Rail Service from Burlington to New York City Will Stimulate Vermont Economy

See the following study:

Maine's Downeaster service generates billions and billions of dollars for their economy:

[Study by Center for Neighborhood Technology]

People Move, Build and Hire based on the presence of a train.



1.      In Maine, 3.3 billion of construction investment will be generated by the train, adding an additional billion dollars of purchasing power to their economy.

2.      The train makes Vermont less isolated - thus more competitiveRetirees come.  Professionals leave the city to tele-comute.  Hospitals have a recruiting edge in recruiting doctors.

3.      Easy transportation brings tourists.  Each tourist spends an average of $177 a night (which ripples through the economy ten times before its impact is done).


Improvements for passenger rail also improve the track for freight, making Vermont industry more competitive.



The Train Is a Down-payment on a Clean and Green Future


  1. According to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Amtrak consumes 17.0% and 21.4% less energy per passenger-mile than airlines and cars, respectively.  That means less particulate and greenhouse gas pollution.
  2. Train service supports smart growth land-use, compact and less dependent on the auto.  The railroad itself has a smaller footprint on the land than a highway.
  3. As energy becomes uncertain it's important for Vermont economic future to remain connected to economic and cultural centers.


The "Western Corridor" Is a Transportation Priority for Vermont


1.                  While driving has declined, ridership on existing Amtrak trains in Vermont is increasing by double digit amounts (in October, both trains were up 17%) - and ridership has remained high even as gas prices have dropped.

2.                  Rail is more important and more competitive on the western corridor because there is no interstate.

3.                  Passenger rail on the western corridor is an objective of the Vermont Western Corridor Transportation Management Plan, now being completed. (for VTrans, Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization and the regional planning commissions).


Continuing the Train To Burlington Is Financially Realistic


  1. Chittenden County is 10 times the size of Rutland.  The revenues from increased ridership should be substantial, perhaps more than the incremental increased cost of an extra hour and 40 minutes of running north of Rutland (remember the train already runs most of the way!)
  2. Cost of rebuilding the track north of Rutland is around 35 million dollars.  We can do this with highway stimulus funds.
  3. 35 million in capital costs is 10% of the cost of a highway interchange.


An Extended Ethan Allen Does Not Replace the Vermonter!


  1. An extended Ethan Allen will be more attractive for Burlington-New York passengers, but the Vermonter serves 8 stops in Vermont, not only Burlington, and runs to Massachusetts and Connecticut points not reached by the Ethan Allen.
  2. It's imbalanced and politically untenable for Burlington to get their direct train but cut off the eastern side of the state.
  3. This might be an opportunity to bring back the Montrealer!  A different schedule will mean the two trains will be less in competition.


Our Request: Use Stimulus Funds to Upgrade the Western Corridor  -- And Bring Amtrak From Rutland Right Into Union Station

Here's what you can do to stay safe around trains...

Never trespass on any railroad property or right of way!
Doing so is illegal and risks serious injury or death.

Cross only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings!
Look for a train moving from either direction -- and then look for a second train from either direction.

Always expect a train!
Trains do not have set schedules and can approach from either direction at any time of day or night.
Trains do not take holidays.

Don't stand next to tracks!
Trains can overhang the tracks by three feet on either side, and straps and tiedowns can extend even further.

Never try to beat a train!
Because of their size, you cannot judge a train's speed or distance. Trains cannot make sudden stops. Remember that a locomotive weighs 200 tons. An automobile being hit by a train is equivalent to a soda can being hit by an automobile.