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8/12/2011    MOW



Passenger Rail Article
Vermont Rail System posts progress on trackwork for Amtrak's Ethan Allen service



Passenger Rail
Vermont Rail System officials recently operated a special train to show local government leaders and legislators ongoing trackwork that’s enabling Amtrak's Ethan Allen Express to speed up service between Whitehall and Rutland, Vt.

The state of New York is providing $2.5 million and the railroad, $750,000, to upgrade track between Rutland and the New York state border. The project calls for replacing 12,200 ties and surfacing eight miles of track. In addition, three grade crossings are being rebuilt by the Vermont Rail System and five others by New York state.

The project began in April and completed work has reduced Ethan Allen Express transit time by 10 minutes. By October, 18 minutes will be trimmed from the service’s schedule, and additional transit time reductions will occur after more work is completed next summer, Vermont Rail System officials said in a prepared statement.

Five miles of jointed rail remains on the route, limiting Amtrak train speeds to 30 mph in that section, they said. The Vermont Rail System is seeking state funds for that portion of work.

The Ethan Allen Express operates daily from Rutland to New York City, via Castleton, Saratoga and Albany, N.Y., mostly over track owned by freight railroads, including the Vermont Rail System. Vermont Rail System owns five railroads that operate 350 miles of track, including the Clarendon & Pittsford Railroad, which owns the track used by the Ethan Allen Express.

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