On December 20, 2023

Delegation announces $1 million in grants to improve, expand rail service

 

The Vermont Congressional Delegation, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Senator Peter Welch (D-Vermont), and Representative Becca Balint (D-Vermont), announced Dec. 11 that the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) will receive a combined $1 million to develop long-range plans to improve existing passenger rail services and expand services in Vermont from the Department of Transportation (DOT). This funding will be used to identify and plan for projects that will compete for Federal Railroad Administration grants under the Corridor Identification Program.   

“This investment in the continued development of Vermont’s rail service will help connect our communities to new opportunity through improved and expanded service and strengthen our economy by making tourism and business travel easier between Vermont, neighboring states, and Quebec, the state’s largest trading partner. We look forward to implementing these investments and will continue our push to improve Amtrak services across the state, between states, and between Vermont and Canada, and streamline the preclearance process,” stated the Vermont Delegation.    

Provided through the FY22 Corridor Identification and Development program, the grants will help develop and enhance domestic and international Amtrak travel to Vermont. The Vermonter Corridor Project will assess project needs to improve existing Amtrak Vermonter service between major east coast travel hubs including improving reliability, and extending service to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Green Mountain Corridor project will include planning and assessing project needs for establishing passenger rail to communities in southwestern Vermont through the Ethan Allen Express.    

In September, the Vermont Congressional Delegation called on Amtrak to work with the delegation to expand rail service in Vermont, which included a request to improve preclearance operations and construct new preclearance facilities between Vermont and Quebec.    

Congress authorized Amtrak to expand preclearance operations to allow rail activities in Canada in 2016 through the Promoting Travel, Commerce, and National Security Act. Logistical and operational obstacles have hindered the full implementation of preclearance activities between the United States and Canada, and a preclearance facility in Montreal Central Station has not been finished to-date.

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