While no announcement has been made, steps are being taken toward resumption of Amtrak service in Vermont. Apparently your voice has been heard.

On Tuesday the Governor rolled out a 4 phase re-opening plan, starting with the elimination of travel quarantines tomorrow (testing for entering travelers remains required). All travel restrictions are expected to be lifted on June 1st and the state will be almost fully “back to normal” at the beginning of July.

In order to have trains running, crews will need to be recalled and re familiarize themselves with the railroad characteristics and re-qualify. Equipment will need to be pulled out of mothballs and inspected.

A re-start group has been formed to work through issues and the state is working with Amtrak.

“We are very close to a point where we will hear announcements with firm dates,” Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn told the Governor’s Rail Council on March 25th.

This is exactly what we would hope for. It is the preparation we wanted to insure began, so the train will be there when things do open up. Talk is cheap, but this work will ensure that when the Governor is confident to make the announcement it will be solid and based in reality.

So cheers to the Governor and the Agency of Transportation for ensuring that the re-opening is done well, the right way, without a frantic scramble and with enough advance time for travelers to book tickets and make plans.

And cheers to you. Many of you sent word to the Governor’s office that this is important. A number of organizations joined with VRAN in a letter to Governor Phil Scott expressing support for Amtrak service. Thanks!

–Chris Parker, VRAN