Railroad grant is great news
I welcome the great news that Vermont has been awarded an $8.9 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation. This money, coupled with other funding totaling $18.5 million, will now allow an additional 20-mile stretch of Vermontís western rail corridor to be upgraded over the next two years. This is very positive news indeed for the city of Rutland, as we continue to write a new economic chapter.
I am proud to have sponsored JRH 18 in 2012, whereby the Vermont House of Representatives jointly signed onto a resolution urging the Federal Railroad Administration to award a passenger rail improvement grant to the state of Vermont for upgrading the western rail corridor. This show of support, along with community support, no doubt was instrumental in the decision made this week.
Our dream is coming true, with only 12 miles of track yet to be finished before Amtrakís Ethan Allen passenger service could conceivably soon travel from Rutlandís Jeffords Station to Burlington Union Station. My job, as your House member from Rutland City serving on the Committee on Transportation, is to continue my laser focus on acquiring an appropriation of the $42 million needed to get the job done. The sooner both commerce and passengers are reconnected on a modern rail system, the sooner our two cities and all of western Vermont will gain from the multiple benefits which will come both economically and socially.
Rep. HERB RUSSELL