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The Amtrak Vermonter departs the St. Albans station July 19. The train returned to Vermont for the first time since March 2020. 

Amtrak’s Vermonter returned to its namesake today after more than a year away.

The passenger train kicked off its journey to Washington D.C. in St. Albans at approximately 9:15 a.m. Monday and arrived in Essex Junction 30 minutes later. Later in the day, it made stops in Waterbury, Montpelier, Randolph, White River Junction, Windsor, Bellows Falls and Brattleboro.

The train will reach New York City and Philadelphia tonight. 

“It is because of your efforts in helping to control the pandemic that we’ve been able to open the Amtrak station; we’ve been able to open the Vermonter,” Andrew Brown, president of the Essex Junction board of trustees, said at a welcome event.

Amtrak suspended its Vermont train service, the Vermonter and the Ethan Allen Express – which makes stops in Castleton and Rutland — on March 26, 2020 due to a significant decrease in ridership because of the pandemic.

In April 2021, Vermont Agency of Transportation announced passenger rail and inter-city bus service would return on July 19.

“We are very pleased to announce the restart of these vital transportation services for Vermonters and those who wish to travel to and from Vermont by train or bus,” Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn stated in April.

In St. Albans this morning. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt. and Lt. Gov. Molly Gray welcomed the train back to Vermont.

“I know I join many Vermonters in celebrating Amtrak’s return to service in Vermont," Gray said. "Not only does today’s return to service mark an important milestone in our successful fight against COVID-19, but also the renewed opportunity for Vermonters to travel the state, region and nation by train."

While its service was suspended, Amtrak refinished the Vermonter’s seating. Charlie Baker, director of the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, said the ride was as comfortable as sitting in his living room.

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