STATEMENT OF LT. GOVERNOR GRAY ON THE RETURN TO SERVICE OF AMTRAK’S “VERMONTER’" AND “ETHAN ALLEN” LINES
St. Albans, Vt. — Today, Lt. Governor Gray joined state and community leaders to mark Amtrak’s return to service in Vermont. Gray delivered remarks at the St. Alban’s kick-off before riding the train from St. Albans to Essex Junction. Gray released the following statement:
“I know I join many Vermonters in celebrating Amtrak’s return to service in Vermont. 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.
Like many, I remember my first Amtrak trip. I was 22 and I had just started working for Congressman Peter Welch in Washington. I remember standing at Union Station and hearing the ‘all aboard’ for ‘the Vermonter’. Although I was far away, I felt close to home knowing I could always take the train home to Vermont or all the way to St. Albans. I also remember the first time I traveled to New York City. I arrived by Amtrak. As a farm kid from Orange County, I will never forget arriving Penn Station and taking those first steps up on to the street near Times Square.
With over 50 years of service, Amtrak brings the world to Vermont and Vermont to the world. In 2019, the Vermonter alone saw more than 98,000 passengers.
As we look to the future and consider the challenges posed by the persistent climate crisis, we might find ourselves looking to the past. We should remember that trains in Vermont are timeless; they guided the layout of our small towns, villages and communities and served as a main source of transport for both people and freight.
I welcome the proposed investments by President Biden and Vermont’s Congressional Delegation in infrastructure and high-speed rail. The proposed rail investments in the American Jobs Plan will allow more Vermonters an alternate form of public transportation for work and travel. The investments will also enhance the state’s transportation resiliency while reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. My most sincere congratulations to Amtrak as well as federal, State and community leaders for today’s resumption of service. Trains are back, Vermont!”