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The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) and Operation Lifesaver of Vermont (OLVT) are warning state residents that it's illegal to trespass on or near railroad tracks.
VTrans and OLVT officials made that announcement as Amtrak prepares to resume full service to the state on July 19. Amtrak service was suspended in March 2020 in response to the pandemic. Since then, trespassing on or near tracks has increased in the state, VTrans officials said in a press release.
"We are excited to see Amtrak's return to the state," said Vermont Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn. "Safety is always our number one concern. With reports of more and more folks walking on or beside the railway, it is imperative that the public understand that this activity is not only illegal, but also highly dangerous."
OLVT officials advised that the public always expect a train, that trains have the right of way and that entering the area on or around tracks is illegal.
"These trains travel at speeds up to 79 mph," said OVLT State Coordinator Toni Clithero. "They extend three feet beyond the track and move almost silently. Weighing up to 200 tons, they appear to be traveling at much slower speeds than they actually are and cannot stop in time to avoid persons or vehicles on or near the tracks."