Throughout 2020, Vermont remained mostly off limits to out-of-state travelers due to coronavirus travel restrictions. In addition to implementing quarantine and testing requirements that effectively banned overnight hotel stays, Governor Phil Scott’s state of emergency also meant that Amtrak suspended train service in and out of the state from March 26, 2020. Now, more than 80 percent of Vermonters age 12 and up have started their vaccination series, and all COVID restrictions have been lifted statewide.
After a nearly 16-month hiatus, this means the Vermonter and the Ethan Allen Express will resume full service again on July 19.
To celebrate, Amtrak and the Vermont Agency of Transportation are hosting celebratory events in Vermont with speeches from local dignitaries on July 19 about 45 minutes before the trains depart. Those who want to hop on the trains after the events can nab special $1 fares that day for travel within the state.
At the Rutland Station, where the Ethan Allen Express runs to New York City, events begin at 7:30 a.m. An hour later at 8:30 a.m., the St. Albans Station will kick off events where the Vermonter starts its journey to Washington, D.C.
For those who take advantage of the $1 one-way fares, VTrans will provide free return shuttle service from the Castleton station to Rutland for Ethan Allen Express passengers and from the Montpelier and Brattleboro stations for passengers on the Vermonter. Seating on the shuttles is limited and offered on a first come, first served basis. Make your reservations here for the shuttle service.
Not in Vermont on July 19? Amtrak is also offering 50 percent off late summer trips on either train to select locations throughout New England between Monday, July 19, and Monday, September 6 (which is sadly a little too early for prime leaf peeping). Tickets must be booked by July 15.
For more information and train schedules, visit vtrans.vermont.gov. To book tickets, visit amtrak.com and the discount will be automatically applied to the standard fare. (Use the discount code “V102” at checkout if booking via the Amtrak App.) Federal law still requires all customers and employees to wear a mask at all times while in stations and onboard Amtrak trains and the VTrans’ shuttles.
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