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Thursday, March 14, 2013    

Amtrak's Vermonter to pick up speed on route to D.C.


Next week, Amtrak will implement a new schedule for Vermonter service to reduce travel time between St. Albans, Vt., and Washington, D.C., by 28 minutes.

To take effect March 18, the new timetable is the result of a two-year, public-private effort to upgrade and repair a 190-mile stretch of track, signals and other key infrastructure owned and maintained by New England Central Railroad, Amtrak officials said in a prepared statement.

The improvements enable track speeds to be increased from 55 mph to a maximum of 59 mph north of White River Junction, and from 59 mph to a maximum of 79 mph south of that location to the Massachusetts border.

The project, which involved the Vermont Agency of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration and the railroad, is an example of a "very successful public-private partnership," helping both passenger- and freight -rail services, said Raymond Goss, senior vice president of New England Central Railroad.

Last year, the Vermonter route posted a 5.5 percent increase in ridership.

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