On the snowy Tuesday before Thanksgiving, during my long drive home marked by cautious breaking and downshifting, I finally understood what rail could do for people like me.

I’m a college student who’s lucky enough to own a car to get back and forth from school. It’s not convenient or energy efficient for my parents to pick me up, so like many young people, I drive myself.  Fortunately, I carpooled with a friend with this time.

But as I slipped across the bridges and back roads, I couldn’t help but wonder how much more relaxed and content I would’ve been on a train.

There would’ve been moments to socialize with friends, read a book or take a nap. On a train, there are more possibilities. It offers flexibility and convenience while supporting this idea of community. 

I thought about sitting in a busy Budd Car. I pictured a group of people moving around, getting where they need to go, to while being part of a collective transportation service.  

It would’ve been more responsible of me to ride the train with many of my fellow peers and Vermonters heading south for the holiday. Fewer cars on the road means fewer emissions. And on this particular occasion, fewer accidents. I saw several during my drive home, a trek prolonged by an hour and a half dues to the weather conditions.   

Brett Stankiewicz, a student at Norwich University, said that a train service connecting to Amtrak lines and the Burlington Airport would be convenient. For people in rural parts of the state like Northfield, an easy solution to visit more populated areas like Montpelier or Burlington without driving great distances could change the lives of many.

And it’s not just about young people or out of state college students. Anyone with the desire to move around will benefit from this. It’s about connecting people and place, facilitating opportunity and moving people to the future of Vermont.


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