Amtrak launches new rail route from New York amid high demand

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Respond to strong customer demand North America’s favorite train company, Amtrak, just added a new destination from New Yorkreopening service on a route that was inactive since 1953. Starting this week, beginning July 29, travelers can board a train to historic Burlington, Vermont, one of the most beautiful cities in America.

Amtrak train leaving the station, train travel

Based on the treatment of smaller airports by some airlines, and this includes Burlington, we would not recommend booking a flight there. It will probably be delayed for several hours, or even worse, or even canceled. In case you haven’t heard, airlines are going through their worst crisis in yearscaused by crippling staff shortages and other operational challenges.

Fortunately, rail operators are better prepared to handle pent-up travel demand now that Covid rules have finally been relaxed:

Trains make a glorious return

Amtrak train passenger boarding

The train journey is very fashionable now. Not only because it can be incredibly scenic, as we have already discussed in this other article, but because of its high reliability. By comparing the departure board at an airport to that at a train station, you will find that the latter is rarely affected by the widespread chaos facing the world of travel.

The train may be slower than a plane, and not necessarily more affordable when you check sleeper fares, but this is a safer bet, at least currently. Over the past few weeks, we’ve reported renewed interest in this mode of transport, as many countries rush to extend their rail map amid ongoing air traffic congestion.

Mature couple enjoying coffee from their roomette on an Amtrak overnight train, Train Travel Concept
Image by Amtrak Vacations via Amtrak Vacations Official Site

Italy recently announced new high-speed trains linking its main cities, Spain is offering free tickets on some of its busiest routes, and Germany has gone so far as to effectively allow unlimited travel throughout the countries on regional trains during the summer – and this is to name a few in Europe.

Initially, the Old Continent seemed to be ahead of the trend, but now the Americas are catching up fast. Amtrak bolsters service between major cities in the United States and Canada, while adding destinations that had not been served since the early 1950s. One of them is Burlington, Vermonta city in the heart of New England.

Amtrak Scenic Train Through Colorado Mountains, USA Travel Travel

Burlington is now only 7 hours by train from New York

Burlington sits on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, near the Canadian border, and has been a tourist hotspot for decades. According to state data, Vermont receives more than 13 million visitors each yearwith cities like Burlington and Montpellier, the capital, playing an instrumental role in the development of this booming industry.

Burlington, Vermont, United States

New Yorkers and residents of other northeast coast states are, of course, among Vermont’s largest customers, accounting for $3 billion of the region’s annual hospitality revenue. Interestingly, Amtrak had been absent from Burlington, one of the state’s top destinations, since 1953.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger celebrated Amtrak’s move, saying the “much-desired service” will be revive the economy at a critical time, offering travelers a “new low-carbon connection” to the Big Apple. ‘We can board a train in downtown Burlington and arrive in New York in time for dinner.‘, he added.

Amtrak check-in office at Penn Station, New York

Here are more details:

New York to Burlington

  • Route operated by the Ethan Allen Express
  • The journey takes 7.5 hours
  • Daily northbound departure from Penn Station at 2:21 p.m.
  • Arrive in Burlington at 9:55 p.m.
  • One-way tickets start at $75*

Burlington to New York

  • Again operated by the Ethan Allen Express
  • 7:30 round trip
  • Daily departure to South Burlington at 10:10 am
  • Return to New York at 5:45 p.m.
  • As with one-way, one-way tickets start at $75

*Tickets are already available on the Amtrak website

Amtrak train crossing a bridge

Prior to launch, downtown New York natives had to brave a long 6-hour drive to Burlington, which usually lasts much longer in high season, when traffic jams are expected. Alternatively, they could board non-stop flights to Burlington International Airport – JetBlue and Delta both compete in this market.

As the mayor of Burlington puts it, local, state and federal authorities worked to restore the “vital” link for “decades” after the investment freeze in the mid-20th century. Besides Burlington, the train will stop at other locations in Vermontincluding Middlebury and Vergennes, further strengthening New York’s connectivity across the state.

Male traveler dragging his own luggage hurrying to catch a train

Before the expansion, the Ethan Allen Express terminated in Rutland, 70 miles south of Burlington. From there, those traveling by train had to switch to local buses or other private transportation. They also had the option of taking the Vermonter train, terminating at Essex Junction, about 8 miles from Burlington. Now, reaching the city has never been easier.

Why is Burlington worth the detour?

Montpellier, Vermont, United States

History buffs might be pleased to know that the train terminates at newly renovated Burlington Union Station, a building recognized as a heritage site by the National Register of Historic Places. Additionally, the station was strategically built on Main Street, in the historic district and close to Lake Champlain.

Once in Burlington, tourists can explore downtown, where some of the most significant buildings are located, stroll Church Street Marketplace, where several restaurants and bars are located, and visit the city’s museums. These include the Ethan Allen Estate Museum and the American specializing in folk art Shelburne Museum.

Read more:

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