Phil Scott Holds Up Amtrak Re-Start
Rail Fans: Write to the Gov!
by Irene Wrenner
Sept. 3, 2020, updated Sept. 28, 2020
As the federal government messes with the US Postal Service, one might wonder if Amtrak’s restart in Vermont is being held up by officials in Washington DC.
Not at all, say members of VRAN, the Vermont Rail Action Network. It’s Governor Scott and VTRANS officials that have kept Amtrak grounded.
Ironically, the Vermonter line is back in service from and to DC, but it ends in New Haven, CT rather than heading here!
At VRAN’s August 26th meeting, rail advocates urged the train-loving public to help get passenger rail rolling again by contacting state officials.
Amtrak was fully funded this year. Therefore, the COVID suspension of passenger rail has allowed the state to save money since March 26, on the backs of potential riders, many of whom lack alternatives that are as easy or affordable as the train.
These budget savings, while welcomed in the short run, may have lasting, negative effects on our economy if the Vermonter and Ethan Allen passenger lines don’t return to the Green Mountain State.
The Vermonter stopping in Essex Junction, on its way
from St. Albans to Washington DC,
Amtrak, on its trains nationwide, is doing enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, booking to ensure physical distancing, and using onboard filtration / fresh air exchange systems to improve passenger safety during this pandemic. This short video mentions, among other things, a fresh air exchange rate of 44x per hour.
VRAN suggests you take a moment to telephone or write to the man in whose hands our train’s future rests:
Governor Phil Scott
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609-0101