All aboard! What it’s like to ride the Ethan Allen Express

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:08 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - In one month, Amtrak expands its service to Vergennes, Middlebury and Burlington.

We wanted to find out what it’s like to ride the train. I hopped on the Ethan Allen Express in Albany, New York, earlier this week. I had the chance to ride the train, speak with passengers and get the full Ethan Allen experience ahead of its expansion to more Vermont cities.

My journey began Monday in Albany. The train departed at 5:05, full of people coming from different parts of New York. Nearly every Vermonter I spoke with said they boarded from the city.

“I commute right now, so I do whatever it takes to go back and forth,” said Matthew Von Unwerth of Reading.

Riding the Amtrak is a welcome option for the around 25 people headed to Vermont from New York. Many use the time to get work done without the stress of other forms of travel.

“Probably about four to five times a year in this exact route,” said Don Devaney of Middlebury.

“I can read, I can get up, I can move around,” said Carolyn Conner of Ripton.

“It’s the most convenient thing to do because you don’t have to hassle with traffic. I don’t like dealing with the airport,” said Veronica Ciambra of Middlebury.

File photo
File photo(WCAX)

The entire route from New York City to Rutland is around 5 hours and 30 minutes, with most people off the train by the final New York stops.

Passengers tell me the Ethan Allen Express expanding to Middlebury, Vergennes and Burlington is huge. Everyone I spoke with still had a bit of a commute home after getting off at Castleton or Rutland.

“Instead of the 50-minute drive to Castleton, I can pop down the hill and get on at Middlebury,” Conner said.

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, passengers can enjoy the views, the snacks and the company.

“I have friends in Saratoga Springs and I can take the train and get off there and go see them,” said Thomas Turley of Middlebury.

On my trip, about 10 folks got off in Castleton, and the Ethan Allen Express pulled into Rutland 15 minutes early. After Rutland, it turned around and headed to New York to do it all over again.

The Ethan Allen Express will arrive in Burlington at 10:10 a.m. on July 29. The trip from Burlington to New York will take around 7.5 hours, and a one-way ticket will cost $75.

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