In mid-October, Ethan Allen Extension Amtrak qualification trips began to operate between Rutland and Burlington in advance of the start of regular passenger service.
Qualification runs are used to familiarize railroaders with how to run over a new or unfamiliar route, according to a Vermont Rail Systems (VRS) Facebook post, Oct. 18. These trips included both Amtrak crews and VRS staff and ran with two locomotives and a single coach. Two roundtrips were made both Saturday, Oct. 16 and Sunday, Oct. 17.
Qualification trips do not run on any set schedule, so it is especially important to remember to always use caution when around the tracks during this phase of the project. “Remember any time is train time!” VRS stated.
Passenger rail service will offer regularly scheduled trips from Burlington to Middlebury to Rutland to Albany and New York City.