Amtrak Finishes Vermonter Railway Line Modernisation
Amtrak has completed repairs and improvements along 190 miles of track between St. Albans and Vernon on the Vermonter line in the US state of Vermont.
The upgraded rail line will allow Amtrak passenger trains to travel at speeds of up to 79 miles an hour, reducing journey times by 29 minutes along the Vermont section of the route.
US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said: “The Vermonter project will grow our economy by moving people and goods more efficiently than ever before.”
The Vermonter project is the first of the three major rail corridor projects to be completed under the Federal Railroad Administration’s High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) programme, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The project received $52.7m in Recovery Act funds, while the New England Central Railroad and RailAmerica contributed $5m in funds and $14m in scrap rail and other track materials.
Upgrades under the project included heavier continuously-welded rail, bridge work, new tie installation and ballast work, which helped in increasing the weight capacity of freight cars from 263,000lbs to 286,000lbs.
The project replaced around 135,000 rail ties, rebuilt 53 highway-rail grade crossings and improved more than 50 rail bridges. The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) said it has also invested about $315m to improve rail services across New England.
Around $72.8m has been provided by the Federal Railroad Administration to Massachusetts for improvements between Springfield and East Northfield that will reduce travel times by an additional 30 minutes upon completion.
USDOT has invested $191m on the Vermonter rail line between New Haven, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts.