The return of the passenger railroad to the city of Vermont has been a vision for decades | Lifestyle

Wilson Ring-The Associated Press

Burlington, Vermont (AP) — After nearly 70 years of absence, passenger trains running from the activated Burlington Station in Vermont to the city of New York will be south on Friday as part of a national renewal of interest in rail travel. I’m going to.

Last November, President Joe Biden Riding the famous Amtrak Between Washington and Delaware’s homes for 36 years in the Senate, Amtrak has signed a law, including $ 102 billion, for investment in passenger and freight railroads to help improve and expand services over time. ..

Some of the projects funded with the help of rail infrastructure funding are planned $ 11 billion train tunnel Below the Hudson River, which connects New Jersey and New York.

Vermont’s new Burlington rail expansion has spent about $ 117 million on rail infrastructure, a year after Amtrak celebrates its 50th anniversary as a national passenger rail service and announces $ 75 billion over 15 years. This is the upper limit of our efforts over about 30 years. Plans to expand passenger railways nationwide.

Amtrak, which currently serves 46 states, has recently restored services interrupted by a pandemic and is adding services in other parts of the country, including New England, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Jim Matthews, chairman of the Railway Passenger Association, an organization dedicated to expanding and improving passenger services, said the goal of expanding passenger railways had been around for decades, but has been boosted recently. Said.

“I may sound a bit annoying in some quarters, but we have supporters of a coalition that literally spent a lifetime devoted to advancing these discussions,” Matthew emailed. I said in. “When the tide began to change in 2017, it was partly due to the slow accumulation of this support and evidence that this was a good public policy.”

According to Matthews, his organization conducted a survey showing the benefits of passenger railroads. This includes a full increase in employment, income, business-to-business transactions, as well as local and state tax revenues.

“We were also able to show Congress dating back to 2017 how important passenger railroads are to people with disabilities and those left behind in society. In many cases, trains are the only public transport available. “He said. “We were also able to demonstrate attractive environmental benefits as a highly environmentally friendly way of traveling.”

Senator Dick Mazza of Vermont has worked for years to help bring passenger rails back to Burlington, but it’s not possible to achieve the bipartisan vision of bringing passenger rails to the state’s largest city. He said it was an unexpectedly long process. , The population is about 45,000.

“Well, that’s a long way to go, but one day it would make a lot of sense for Burlington to go to New York City,” we said. We know what’s coming in 20 years. No, “he said.

The new Burlington service is an extension of the Ethan Allen Express, which has been operating between New York City and Rutland since the mid-1990s.

Immediately after Amtrak began serving Rutland, the state was largely backed by former Governor Howard Dean, his administration, his successors, and a delegation of Congress, applying for a series of federal grants needed to upgrade the railroad. It was started. Other infrastructure such as railroad crossings and train stations. State funding launched in the meantime has made it possible to raise the overall stretch to passenger rail standards.

Dean was ridiculed for supporting the railroad and had to overcome local opposition. Today, he says he’s happy to leave his car at Burlington’s house and take the train to meet his grandchildren in Philadelphia and change trains in New York.

“If you can help it, you don’t want to use a car in a big city,” Dean said. “No garage, no driving, no hassle, no rude people.”

A seven and a half hour trip between Burlington and New York is about two hours longer than driving. The top speed between Burlington and Rutland is 59 mph (94.95 kph), which can be increased with future technology upgrades.

Copyright 2022 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

The return of the passenger railroad to the city of Vermont has been a vision for decades | Lifestyle

Source link The return of the passenger railroad to the city of Vermont has been a vision for decades | Lifestyle

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