Rail is to community as roads are to solitude. On a rainy day, inside the massive warehouse where the Budd Cars are maintained, Greg Morgan, Chair of the Essex Economic Development Commission, expressed how rail is important to the future in a time of evolution and change.  

For Morgan, rail is in Essex Junction’s DNA. The creation of an accessible and versatile public transportation will be important for citizens and businesses alike.

“I’m really hopeful that we will implement a transportation system that gets people off the road and on the rail. It’s clearly the right thing to do.” Morgan said.

The biggest change in the area happened in the 90s when the Montrealer was taken out of service. “It’s been a big problem because there are no passengers are coming through St. Albans and very few to the Essex hub, but there’s a huge population of people in Montreal that could benefit from an in-state public transportation system that reaches as far as Canada.”

But before we revitalize our connections with Montreal, it’s important to establish a train network in the Chittenden County area that utilizes multiple forms of transportation and creates an economically viable solution.

From the integration of bicycles and bike-sharing programs to the use of efficient scooters and busses, a collaborative community-oriented approach will help VT for good.

“To make this work, we need to serve a lot of people who can use the train easily and cheaply, but Blittersdorf isn’t naïve about this, he knows what it takes to make this work” Morgan said.

It’s not just about connecting commuters to their jobs and favorite destinations, it’s also about promoting human traffic through the hubs of Vermont and promoting economic development.

It begins by spreading the news and understanding the impact trains can have for Vermont, like at the annual holiday Essex Train Hop event help remind people that

Essex has become a central place, a link to Burlington that, with rail, will help create a prosperous cycle, a connection that will promote a sense of community that’s essential to the evolution of Vermont.

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