• AllEarth Rail / Vermont Commuter Rail

  • General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by Jeff Smith
https://vermontbiz.com/news/2018/novemb ... -wednesday" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
AllEarth Rail moves on, to Montpelier Wednesday

Legislators will be offered a distinctive breakfast ambiance Wednesday when AllEarth Rail, the startup commuter-rail initiative spearheaded by clean-energy entrepreneur David Blittersdorf, hosts them on board a rehabbed railcar parked on the Washington County Railroad tracks adjacent to Taylor Street in Montpelier, a short stroll from the State House.

The event will mark a milestone of sorts for Blittersdorf's project, which is built around 12 vintage "Budd cars" that he acquired in early 2017 from Dallas Area Rapid Transit. The cars, which carry their own engines underneath the floorboards, need no locomotive – making them an economical alternative, in the view of some observers, for small commuter-rail operations such as Blittersdorf envisions for northwestern Vermont.
Moore and Blittersdorf, who owns AllEarth Rail's parent company, Williston-based AllEarth Renewables, will be making the case for launching a commuter-rail system to be centered on Burlington, with spokes extending to St Albans, Montpelier, Middlebury and possibly even Rutland. The car will remain open for the general public from 10:30 am until 2:30 pm.

Part of the initiative's logic is that private enterprise can find a leaner but equally effective solution to transit needs than the state can. A state-sponsored feasibility study released shortly before Blittersdorf bought the cars indicated that, for a Burlington-St Albans-Montpelier commuter service, an initial investment of $162 million-$189 million for cars and locomotives would be necessary.

Blittersdorf paid about $4 million for his set of cars and spare parts for them. They were hauled to Vermont in the summer of 2017 and have since made their home at the railroad shops in Barre, where the Bombardier Company once assembled cars for Amtrak.
  by Jeff Smith
https://www.allearthrail.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
AllEarth Rail intends to deploy 12 Budd cars on three initial routes - St. Albans to Essex Junction, Montpelier to Essex Junction, and Rutland to Burlington. From there, the plan is for service to expand to the rest of the state’s rail network. When launched, these new regional routes will support the future growth of housing and other forms of sustainable development in and near existing Vermont population centers.
  by Jeff Smith
https://www.essexreporter.com/essex-off ... rail-cars/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Blittersdorf has alluded he doesn’t want to see his investment sitting idle for long, and spokesman Charyk said it’s “very possible” the company would lease out the cars to other states that are interested.
  by electricron
Looks like AllEarth prefers the color Green over Blue for their livery on these RDCs.
Looks great!

Hopefully they can get the State to refurbish the track and tunnel between Burlington and Essex Junction and improve the spur track off the mainline Amtrak uses all the way to Barre; both of them up to Class III for 60 mph maximum speeds. You are not going to have a viable commuter train running at maximum speeds of 10 mph today over fairly long (more than a mile or so) sections of tracks

Once the State has refurbished the tracks, maybe the local cities could subsidize the trains and refurbish the stops. Golly, we are in Vermont, fancy train stations are not needed.
  by Jeff Smith
Not throwing in the towel just yet: https://vermontbiz.com/news/2019/june/2 ... l-get-look
Williston-based AllEarth Rail, which is hoping to launch the nation's only privately operated commuter rail service, failed this spring in its push for the state to perform a technical analysis of how self-propelled rail cars of the type AllEarth owns could provide such a service. But the company's initiative is not dead.

The Senate-House conference committee that finalized this year's transportation bill dropped the technical analysis, which only the House had supported, and substituted a provision that instructs the Agency of Transportation (VTrans) to estimate some of the costs for a co
The line in question, operated as the Washington County Railroad by the Vermont Rail System (VRS), runs 13.1 miles from Graniteville in Barre Town to a junction with the New England Central Railroad (NECR) at the Amtrak station just west of the Montpelier city limits.

There is freight traffic – granite from the Rock of Ages quarry – but the Barre-Montpelier corridor has not seen passenger rail service since the demise of the local trolley in 1927.

Public transit between the two communities currently consists only of a bus running every 30 to 75 minutes six days a week, leading one to ask if commuter rail between two small cities seven miles apart is realistic.
  by J.D. Lang
Jeff Smith wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:25 pm I can think of a few different places they could be used...
Like Western MA? :wink:
  by Jeff Smith
Definitely! Out of Pittsfield south on the Housatonic on weekends for sure... North of Danbury to New Milford. Lots of candidates, especially in CT as feeder lines.
  by mtuandrew
Jeff Smith wrote: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:32 am Definitely! Out of Pittsfield south on the Housatonic on weekends for sure... North of Danbury to New Milford. Lots of candidates, especially in CT as feeder lines.
Providence-Worcester comes to mind too, if Boston Surface either hires them or gets out of the way.
  by Jeff Smith
Mr. Stephens, I like that. BSRR seems to have equipment issues, so maybe they could work out a lease. I was also thinking Worcester to New London, and along the old Maybrook down to SoNo from some point up the line, although HRRC as owner would have to be solved. I'd also like to think Waterbury to Berlin.
  by BandA
Previously, BSRR stated that they wanted to run locomotive-hauled and had no interest in DMUs. But who knows?
  by Jeff Smith
AFAIK BSRR had issues closing on two FL9’s from CTDOT. Not sure if they ever took possession.
  by DutchRailnut
dropped out on one unit and other is rotting away in cedar hill, with Boston Surface not even having a place to put it or money to move it.
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