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Friday, May 13, 2011

National Train Day 2011 - White River Jct., VT

The 2011 National Train Day events kicked off at 1100 hours at the White River Junction, Vermont transportation station with the arrival of several state and local officials arriving on buses and doing a meet-and-greet session with attendees.  The event included participation from the Town of Hartford (where White River Jct. actually lies), the Chamber of Commerce, the local National Railway Historical Society, and both Amtrak and New England Central Railroad.  The event was well attended by local residents and visitors from around the region who were interested in seeing what “National Train Day” was all about.

Owing to the ongoing ARRA high speed rail project work to the north, Amtrak’s Vermonter train 57 (weekend symbol) was off schedule by about 19 minutes.  In the case of better late than never, the train arrived alongside a parked New England Central GP38 consist of GP38 3847 and 3851, delivering a large ridership that had boarded at both St. Albans and Essex Junction, VT. 

Among the riders aboard the train were state officials that were accompanied by both RailAmerica and New England Central Railroad personnel.  Transportation Rail Director with the Vermont Agency of Transportation, Joe Flynn, rode the train south, along with Charles Hunter, assistant vice president for government relations for Rail America Operations and his wife Mary.  Many other notable riders were aboard as well as local enthusiasts and National Railway Historical Society members.

Phil Rentz of the NRHS in White River had sale items inside the station, while the Chamber of Commerce made an effort to stress railroad items. 

Passengers arrive at White River

Hunter and Don Provencher

The Banner below the WRJ Station Baggage Door

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and Transportation Secretary Brian Searles (above left) pose in front of the Amtrak logo; Governor Shumlin and my son Riley are posed together as well.

Governor Shumlin speaks to the gathering of folks at the White River Jct. depot, while Windsor County representative Chuck Bohi (also a railfan himself!) stands by his side; Shumlin mingled with the folks in the crowd wile Charles Hunter took the podium to discuss the High Speed Rail project currently underway in Vermont.  


Charles Hunter speaking at the National Train Day function. 


Watch his address to the crowd...(11 y/o Riley did the video on this one...)


The crew aboard the Vermonter prepares for departure...  And actually poses for a 'nice' photo ;-)


Conductor aboard the Vermonter gives a departure wave as the train highballs away from the White River Jct. station.

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