We are writing to share some information about Amtrak’s new high-speed train service, which will offer direct connections for students, faculty, staff, and visitors traveling between Middlebury and New York City starting on July 29. Our message provides the schedule, highlights of the service, and safety information, including guidance that applies to all railroad crossings. Please note that one nearby crossing intersects the Trail Around Middlebury (TAM) and is located on College property to the east of the softball and baseball fields.
Amtrak recently announced that its Ethan Allen Express trains will travel once each day from Burlington to New York City, and once each day from New York City to Burlington, with 13 stops, including the new Middlebury station at 30 Middle Seymour Street. The New York–bound train will leave Middlebury at 11:01 a.m., and the northbound train will arrive at about 8:50 p.m. The daily service will operate 365 days a year.
The high-speed rail service comes on the heels of the completion of the Downtown Redevelopment Project, which included track improvements in Middlebury where the railroad crosses through downtown under Main Street and Merchant’s Row.
Recent Informational Meeting
More details are available in the Agency of Transportation announcement. The Vermont Transportation Authority and several local organizations recently hosted a Zoom meeting with an Amtrak official to provide more information about the Ethan Allen Express.
You can view the presentation, a safety video, and the recording of the meeting via the following links. We encourage you to view these materials, including the safety video, which explains why trains are so quiet and provides tips on how to negotiate train crossings.
You may submit questions to Toni Hamburg Clithero, Amtrak grants program manager, at Toni.H.Clithero@vermont.gov. For questions about safety, please contact Robert Hanson, Amtrak Police regional detective at Robert.Hanson@amtrak.com.
Additional Safety Information
While the new Amtrak service is an exciting development in our community, there are inherent risks that arise from operating more trains at increased speeds. It is important to recognize these dangers now, since practice train runs on the new line are scheduled to begin July 7. Amtrak has provided additional safety information that is outlined in the following three flyers and on the Amtrak Police website:
- Railroad Crossing Safety Tips and Trespassing
- Don’t Get Stuck on the Tracks. Follow These Instructions.
- Train Safety Facts You May Not Know
- Stay Off the Tracks
Highlights of the New Train Service
Following are some highlights:
- The trip from Burlington to New York City takes about seven and a half hours.
- The trains have a café car and Wi-Fi on board.
- Tickets will be available via www.Amtrak.com.
- Train fares from Burlington to New York City start at $75 each way, and travel within Vermont is no more than $18 each way.
- Amtrak plans to offer 50 percent off promotional rates for a limited time with fares of $1 for travel within Vermont and half price to New York City for travel dates through Labor Day.
- The Ethan Allen Express service southbound will depart daily from Burlington at 10:10 a.m., stop in Middlebury at approximately 11:01 a.m., and arrive at the Moynihan Train Hall of Penn Station in New York at 5:45 p.m.
- The Ethan Allen Express northbound will depart Penn Station at 2:21 p.m. daily with arrival in Middlebury at 8:50 p.m. and Burlington at 9:55 p.m.
- The service runs 365 days a year.
- There are 13 stops between Burlington and New York City, including Middlebury. Here is a preliminary schedule.
- Passengers may have two pieces of luggage free of charge.
- Passengers may bring bicycles on trains for an extra fee. Reservations are required. Small dogs are also allowed.
- Daily and overnight parking is available free of charge at Middlebury Station.
- Amtrak officials said they are working to coordinate with Tri-Valley Transit to match their train schedules.
- The train that currently leaves from Rutland at 8 a.m. will not run after the new service starts.
After experiencing a multiyear construction project in our downtown, we can now enjoy one of the results of that work with this new train service. We hope it offers many current and future members of our community a convenient travel option and a good way to learn about the Middlebury area and the College.
“It is wonderful to see this highly anticipated project and the expansion of passenger rail service come to fruition,” said Mike Thomas, vice president of administration and chief risk officer. “This project will benefit our entire community and offer a great option for students, faculty, staff, and visitors to easily get to campus without having to drive or board a bus or plane.”
“Our Energy2028 commitment includes reducing our energy use and carbon emissions by 25 percent,” said Jack Byrne, dean of sustainability and environmental affairs. “This new opportunity for getting to New York City without having to use a car is a fantastic option to help us move toward that goal in our personal choices as well.”
Tickets and more information will be available online at www.Amtrak.com.