Vermonter


Vermonter
     Vermonter

Vermonter at the Brattleboro, Vermont, station, 18 March 2004.
Overview
Type Inter-city rail
System Amtrak
Locale New England
Termini St. Albans, Vermont
Washington, D.C.
Daily ridership 242 daily
86,245 total (FY10)[1]
Operation
Opened 1995
Owner NECR, CSX, MNCR
Operator(s) Amtrak
Technical
Line length 611 mi (983.31 km)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) Standard gauge

Amtrak's Vermonter is a 611-mile (983 km) passenger train service between St. Albans (Vermont), New York City and Washington, D.C. One trip runs in each direction per day.

The train replaced the overnight Montrealer which terminated in Montréal, Québec, Canada. When the Montrealer route was threatened with cancellation due to budget cuts, the State of Vermont stepped in to subsidize service as far north as St. Albans, near the Canadian border.

The tracks currently used were originally part of the Canadian National Railway, Central Vermont Railway, Boston and Maine Railroad, New Haven Railroad, New York Central Railroad, and Pennsylvania Railroad systems. The tracks currently used are owned by the New England Central Railroad (St. Albans, VT – Palmer, MA), CSX (Palmer, MA – Springfield, MA), Amtrak (Springfield, MA – New Haven, CT and New Rochelle, NY – Washington, DC), and Metro-North Railroad (New Haven, CT – New Rochelle, NY).

Contents

History

Montrealer

The Montrealer was originally a service of the Boston and Maine Railroad (BM), running between Montreal and Washington. The southbound line from 1972-1974 was called the Washingtonian, and the northbound was called the Montrealer. The Washingtonian was also Train 185, which came from New York and later along with most other regular trains on the Northeast Corridor, folded into one NortheastDirect in 1995. The Ambassador ran the same route but terminated in New York. Both services used the Boston and Maine's Connecticut River Railroad south of Vernon, Vermont, rather than the current route over the New England Central.

Amtrak's Montrealer acquired a reputation as a party train due to the large numbers of skiers who would take the train, staying up late into the night or not sleeping at all. Amtrak equipped the train with its own dedicated lounge car outfitted with a piano, dubbed the LePub.

The Montrealer was suspended from early April 1987 to mid-July 1989, because of deteriorating track conditions on the Boston and Maine Railroad, which had been taken over by Guilford Transportation. During the suspension, Amtrak offered "Ambus" service (operated by Vermont Transit) to Springfield, Mass., where passengers would board an Amtrak train for points south to Washington. This situation precipitated the only instance of Amtrak seizing another railroad by eminent domain, followed by the re-sale of the track by Amtrak to the Central Vermont. The matter went all the way to the Supreme Court in National Railroad Passenger Corporation v. Boston & Maine Corp., which upheld Amtrak's action. Led by Jim Jeffords, Vermont's congressional delegation secured federal funds to rebuild the track. Only the section between Windsor, Vermont and Brattleboro, Vermont was transferred, however, leaving the line between Springfield, Massachusetts and East Northfield, Massachusetts as an obstacle. The train was reinstated in July 1989, this time taking the long way over the Central Vermont Railway (now the New England Central Railroad), from East Northfield to New London, Connecticut, rather than traveling over the direct Guilford Rail System (formerly Boston & Maine Railroad, now Pan Am Railways) track.[2]

In 1989, when the train returned to service, the stop in Northampton, Massachusetts was discontinued, although the replacement daytime "Ambus" service via Vermont Transit continued running, and a new stop in Amherst, Massachusetts, was added. The crew change was shifted from Springfield to Palmer at the same time. In 1992 a stop was added at Willimantic, Connecticut, but service there was discontinued in 1995 upon inception of the Vermonter.

Vermonter

The Vermonter replaced the Montrealer on April 1, 1995, bringing daytime service to Vermont. Business Class was added to replace the sleepers that were taken out of service upon the change to the Vermonter. The route was changed to allow travelers from Vermont back to stop in Springfield and Hartford. This was made possible by the use of cab cars of locomotives on both ends so that the train could travel east from Springfield, Massachusetts to Palmer and reverse direction to connect with the Central Vermont to continue north (see Palmer backup move, below). This detour adds an hour of running time, but was judged more practical than seeking to use the direct route over the former Boston and Maine Railroad owned by Guilford. The train travels from Washington to New Haven on the Northeast Corridor, where electric locomotives are substituted for the diesel locomotives used north of that location.

The third-busiest station in Vermont, Essex/Burlington.

The train featured a colorful baggage car from its inception in 1995 until 2002. These baggage cars accepted unboxed bicycles and skis.

Vermont declined to pay for continuing the Vermonter to Montreal due to very high labor and terminal costs (Amtrak did not have the ability to use its own crews on the short Canadian portion of the run). Amtrak offered passengers a connecting Thruway bus service, operated by Vermont Transit, which met the train at St. Albans for connections to and from Montreal. Ridership plunged when the train schedule was moved two hours earlier, requiring a southbound departure before 5:00 a.m. The schedule was returned to its previous position, but the service was dropped by Vermont Transit (which had been running it without a subsidy as part of its regular schedule) on October 30, 2005.

Due to a schedule change effective October 30, 2006, the Vermonter began stopping at the towns of Wallingford and Windsor Locks (near Bradley International Airport) in Connecticut for the first time in its years of existence.

On 9 November 2010, the State of Vermont, Amtrak, and New England Central began a $70 million project to increase train speeds along the route in Vermont to 59 miles per hour (95 km/h) between St. Albans and White River Junction, Vermont and to 79 miles per hour (127 km/h) between White River Junction and Vernon, Vermont.[3]

Proposed equipment change and service upgrade

Amtrak had urged the state of Vermont to purchase diesel multiple unit (DMU) trainsets for use on the New HavenSt. Albans stretch of the line. These DMUs would have been a smaller and more efficient alternative to the current locomotive-pulled configuration. Instead of remaining in the same passenger coaches while the crew switched locomotives at New Haven, passengers would have to change trains. Amtrak offered a $2 million grant to help make the switch and market the new service. The new cars would purportedly have saved $4.25 million over three years, being 4 times more fuel efficient than a locomotive hauled train. [4] In 2008 the Vermont state legislature approved the purchase of five cars from Colorado Railcar at the cost of $18.2 million, but the decision was pending the approval of Governor Jim Douglas when the company closed,[5] and with no other manufacturers of DMUs that comply with US regulations for DMUs, the plan has since been dropped.

Amtrak and the State of Vermont have also tentatively discussed adding another train between White River Junction and Springfield, Massachusetts that would enable greater flexibility in passenger travel times.

Ridership

During fiscal year 2010, the Vermonter carried 86,245 passengers, a 16.5% increase from 2009's total of 74,016 people.[1] In FY 2010, the train had a total revenue of $4,778,747, a 19.1% increase from 2009's revenue of $4,011,930.[1]

Palmer–Springfield backup move

At Palmer, Massachusetts, no direct connection exists to allow eastbound trains to head north, or southbound trains to head west. Therefore the Vermonter must operate with either a locomotive on both ends or a cab car on the end opposite the locomotive. There is no station stop in Palmer, which is a small town.

On the southbound Vermonter, the train enters the CSX tracks heading east and moves clear of the crossing. The conductors get off the train and throw the switches and the engineers move to the other end, and the train goes the other way west to Springfield. On the northbound Vermonter, the procedure is reversed, with the train being pushed east from Springfield to Palmer. With the start of the all-electric Keystone Service freeing equipment, it is now common to see two P42 locomotives on the Vermonter, instead of one engine and a cab car. In this configuration the train is not pushed per se, as both engines are powered. However, using the computer systems in the locomotives, which communicate with each other, the engines are able to balance the momentum, preventing fuel waste. It is roughly tantamount to having both engines working at half capacity.

Planned re-routing north of Springfield

Since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was passed which potentially could be used for improvements to the Vermonter service, there is serious discussion between the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and officials of the Knowledge Corridor Passenger Rail Study[6] of restoring the more direct route from Springfield through Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield with stops in each. This re-routing would, while bypassing and deleting the Amherst station stop, serve more population centers and shave off forty-five minutes to an hour of travel time between Springfield and Brattleboro.[7][8] The re-routing would also eliminate the need to switch directions in Palmer and for two locomotives on each train.

On January 28, 2010, the White House announced that $70 million from ARRA funds would be allocated to re-routing the Vermonter to its original route between Brattleboro, Vermont and Springfield, Massachusetts along the Connecticut River.[9] The rerouting would shorten the train's route by 11 miles (18 km) and 25 minutes of travel time by laying new track and upgrading other infrastructure on the line. A station in Northampton will be renovated, and a new station in Greenfield will be constructed.[10] Separately, ARRA funds will be used to upgrade track in Vermont for higher speeds.[10]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c "AMTRAK SETS NEW RIDERSHIP RECORD, THANKS PASSENGERS FOR TAKING THE TRAIN (link to PDF download)". Amtrak. 11 October 2010. http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer/Page/1237608337144/1237608345018?passedMonth=October&passedYear=2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Solomon (2004), 47.
  3. ^ "Vermont, Amtrak formally kick off high speed work". Trains Magazine. 9 November 2010. http://trn.trains.com/Railroad%20News/News%20Wire/2010/11/Vermont%20Amtrak%20formally%20kick%20off%20high%20speed%20work.aspx. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "Vermont considers buying smaller passenger cars for Amtrak route". Connecticut Post. August 9, 2006. 
  5. ^ Edwards, Bruce (June 22, 2008). "Rail plan off track for now". Barre Montpelier Times Argus. http://www.timesargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080622/BUSINESS/806220356/1006/BUSINESS. Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  6. ^ Knowledge Corridor Passenger Rail Study
  7. ^ Roessler, Mark (May 7, 2009). "Train Departing Amherst Station". Valley Advocate. http://www.valleyadvocate.com/article.cfm?aid=9665. 
  8. ^ Garofolo, Chris (May 26, 2009). "Groups study improving train service". Brattleboro Reformer. http://www.reformer.com/localnews/ci_12449119. 
  9. ^ http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/hsr_awards_summary_public.pdf Recovery Act High Speed Rail Awards
  10. ^ a b "High speed rail in the Northeast: Beyond the Corridor, slow trains get some help". Trains Magazine. 28 January 2010. http://www.trains.com/trn/default.aspx?c=a&id=6261. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 

References

External links



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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vermonter — на станции Брэттелборо Vermonter (Вермонтер, т. е. житель Вермонта)  пассажирский поезд компании Amtrak, курсирующий между Вашингтоном и …   Википедия

  • Vermonter — [vər män′tər] n. a person born or living in Vermont …   English World dictionary

  • Vermonter — noun see Vermont …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Vermonter — /veuhr mon teuhr/, n. a native or inhabitant of Vermont. [1770 80, Amer.; VERMONT + ER1] * * * …   Universalium

  • Vermonter — noun An inhabitant or a resident of the state of Vermont …   Wiktionary

  • Vermonter — житель штата Коннектикут …   Словарь топонимов США

  • Vermonter — n. resident of Vermont (USA) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Vermonter — [və mɒntə] noun a native or inhabitant of the US state of Vermont …   English new terms dictionary

  • vermonter — ver·mont·er …   English syllables

  • Vermonter — noun a native or resident of Vermont • Hypernyms: ↑American …   Useful english dictionary


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