The Mountain Times

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VTrans urges caution as train speeds increase in Vermont starting March 11

2--VTrans -New -Train -Speeds

Recent investments to upgrade 220 miles of the New England Central Railroad line from the Massachusetts border to St. Albans will begin to be felt on Monday, March 11 as trains increase their operating speeds. The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) announced Feb. 28 that trains will be running at speeds of up to 79 mph south of White River Junction and up to 59 mph to the north.

While the project included upgrading 46 crossings along the line, there are still a number of non-gated crossings and these speed increases mean the public needs to use extra caution when crossing the tracks.

"A 30% increase in speed means significantly less time for drivers and pedestrians to react to an approaching train," said VTrans Rail Director Dan Delabruere. "The public needs to stop, look and listen when approaching a crossing. It takes about a mile for a passenger train to stop. Particularly when negotiating non-gated crossings, remember that the lead time you once had is cut by nearly 1/3 so everybody needs give trains a wider berth out there."

The track speed changes will also result in schedule changes for Amtrak's Vermonter and freight service along that route that will be announced shortly.

VTrans will be posting information about the schedule changes at www.rail.vermont.gov as it becomes available.