After serious damage at scores of locations from tropical storm flooding, Vermont Rail System has worked around the clock to fix tracks. The hybrid state and private statewide system has resumed some freight operations and expects to run the first Amtrak Ethan Allen train from Rutland Thursday morning.
In order to restore the line from Whitehall to Rutland, 19 washouts had to be restored. The railroad track was hanging in the air at fifteen of those, while 4 more involved a partial scouring of the grade.
Beginning Sunday at 2pm, as soon as it was safe, the line was inspected and assessed. Crews worked all day on Monday, but one portion of the line remained under water until Tuesday.
“I am proud of the hard work of our crews,” Wulfson said. “They are – like Vermonters everywhere – giving their all to get us all back moving again.”
Amtrak runs trains over Vermont Rail System track to reach Rutland, as well as tracks of Canadian Pacific Railroad, CSX and Metro-North.
“When I heard the damage report, my heart sunk,” said Christopher Parker, Executive Director of Vermont Rail Action Network. “But there is a long can-do history of railroads responding expertly to disasters and fixing things quickly. It’s nice to see Vermont Rail System acting out of that tradition.”
“I am very pleased to hear that passenger rail service may resume,” said David Allaire, chairmN of the Rutland Board of Alderman. “Obviously Vermont Rail System is working feverously to get their line back up and running both to the west and heading north for passenger rail and for getting our commodities in. Rail once again shows that it’s a vital link to Rutland.”
“We are grateful. I want to thank VTrans for their incredible cooperation,” Wulfson said. “We are a Vermont family owned company and we’re here to serve our customers.”