The long-awaited return of passenger rail service to Burlington for the first time in nearly 70 years is set for July 29, the Vermont Agency of Transportation announced Thursday.
That’s the date Amtrak’s Ethan Allen Express will begin offering service to New York City from downtown Burlington. The train will make stops in Vergennes and Middlebury before it reaches Rutland, the current northern terminus of the Ethan Allen Express, which travels to New York via Albany, N.Y., with stops along the way.
The last regularly scheduled passenger rail service to Vermont's largest city ended in 1953.
"Very soon, we will be able to climb aboard a train in downtown Burlington, and arrive in New York City in time for dinner," Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said in a statement. "This long-desired service will give a boost to our economic recovery at a critical time, and give travelers a new, lower-carbon connection to New York and the rest of the Amtrak system."
Vermont officials have worked for decades to restore service to Burlington, upgrading the rails, road crossings, stations and other rail infrastructure on the approximately 75-mile run between Burlington and Rutland.
More recently crews have been working to prepare the Burlington station, on the Lake Champlain waterfront at the base of Main Street, including installing Amtrak signs.
The state says fares between Burlington and New York will start at $75. The train is scheduled to leave Burlington at 10:10 a.m. at New York’s Penn Station at 5:45 p.m. The northbound train is scheduled to leave New York at 2:21 p.m. and arrive in Burlington at 9:55 p.m.
The Ethan Allen Express has run between Rutland and New York City since the mid-1990s. Amtrak's Vermont runs from New York, through Connecticut and Massachusetts following the Connecticut River before it crosses Vermont to reach St. Albans.