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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) late last week announced a $10 million federal grant to extend Amtrak's Ethan Allen Express service to Burlington, Vt.The award, provided through the USDOT's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) VII program, will fund about 11 miles of new track along the state-owned line and three passenger platforms in Middlebury, Vergennes and Burlington, USDOT officials said in a press release.Currently, the passenger-rail service begins in New York City and stops in Rutland, Vt. The project also will reduce long-term maintenance costs for the state, improve safety at multiple crossings and allow passenger trains to operate up to 60 mph.The project is one of 39 federally funded transportation projects in 34 states that were selected to receive a total of nearly $500 million under the department's 2015 TIGER program."In this round of TIGER grants, we selected projects that focus on where the country’s transportation infrastructure needs to be in the future: safer, more innovative, and more targeted to open the floodgates of opportunity across America," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.