Amtrak will begin serving Burlington, Vt., later in July, nearly 70 years after passenger rail service ended to the city.

Amtrak’s Ethan Allen Express will begin daily service to Burlington from New York on July 29, the passenger railroad said Wednesday. The train, which is an extension of existing service to Rutland, Vt., will make the trip in seven-and-a-half hours and includes new intermediate stations in Middlebury and Vergennes, Vt.

The last passenger rail service to Burlington ended in 1953.

The new Amtrak station in Burlington, Vt. (Amtrak)

“The extension of service to Burlington highlights the continued growth in demand for train travel throughout this country, and we are proud to meet this demand with our partners” in Vermont, Amtrak President Roger Harris said in a statement.

As exciting as the rail expansion is, Amtrak faces challenges making its Burlington trains competitive with flying and driving. Flights between New York and Burlington are an hour-and-a-half or less with nonstop offerings from Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, and United Airlines. Driving takes just over six hours without traffic.

Amtrak’s expansion to Burlington comes as the railroad prepares for an influx of federal dollars from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The railroad has unveiled an ambitious expansion plan, dubbed Connect U.S., that includes new passenger rail corridors and expanded service across the U.S. Amtrak anticipates funds arriving and work beginning on parts of that plan sometime next year.

Tags: amtrak, vermont