By Julia Purdy
At 10:45 a.m., Sunday, June 27, a silver-blue-and-red Amtrak train rolled into Rutland with celebratory blasts of the train horn. The Ethan Allen line is preparing to get back in business starting July 19. Several training runs began in March, a full year after the state shut down interstate transportation to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The Ethan Allen Express currently terminates in Rutland, providing a shuttle back and forth to New York City’s Penn Station. There are small passenger stations in Rutland and Castleton, and connections to points west in Schenectady and Rensselaer-Albany.
“Amtrak requires at least 90 days’ notice from the state, as the train service’s sponsor, to resume service. Before that happens, Amtrak crews must qualify on the route, meaning they must familiarize or refamiliarize themselves with it thoroughly,” wrote C.B. Hall for Vermont Business magazine.
It is possible to travel from Rutland to the West Coast by continuous rail, changing to regional routes at major hubs. “Ask Julie” tells you how.
An excellent website, amtrakguide.com, has everything to orient travelers to train travel, from an easy-to-read route map featuring destinations and sights and things to do at each stop, to information on connecting airports and train station’s services, as well as audio tours and of course schedules and ticket deals.
Tickets can be purchased online at amtrak.com or through the Amtrak app.