We’re looking ahead to a a zoom forum this coming Tuesday at noon . . . and looking back at the year we’re now wrapping up.
It’s fair to say, the highlight of the year was the resumption of Amtrak service on July 19th. Many of you sent word to the Scott administration that we needed our trains back. Then we had a fantastic celebration at every station and with sold-out trains. That did the trick, because Vermont’s ridership, relative to pre-CoVid times is now the highest of any state.
Did you participate in one of our several zoom events? Will you this Tuesday? We’ve found zoom works well for us, as a statewide group. We started planning an “Annual Dinner” this November that became obvious was not a good idea, but the zoom events really _have_ been a good idea. We’ll do more, even when this pandemic is in the rear view mirror.
Zoom (and it’s ilk) has been the medium of a lot of advocacy this year. Meeting with the Agency of Transportation (we are grateful for our good relationships and their good work). Participating in rail studies (Vermont has a new rail plan with our input that includes a range of possibilities for future improvements). Our new marketing committee, which (thanks to Dan Peacock) has produced timetables for our trains (see them at railvermont.org/civicrm/?civiwp=CiviCRM&q=civicrm/mailing/url&u=523&qid=43432). VRAN board meetings. Participating in coalitions with other environmental, transportation and community organizations. About a third of our work is communication in one way or another – phone, email, in-person meetings and of course zoom.
The technical administration of the organization and its communication is another third of the work. For example, the website and keeping the books. A big big project was completed in March this year. We had to move our database to a new service (we now use the open source CiviCRM). That was a big piece of work that is critical to our effectiveness.
In the railroad world, changes of ownership threaten to change the competitive balance for Vermont – the sale of Pan-Am and changes related to Canadian Pacific’s takeover of CMQ. We are keeping abreast of the situation and are involved. January 10th will be a hearing of the Surface Transportation Board in Washington DC, regarding the Pan-Am Sale. We’ll be there.
Your support made all this possible. We’re a pretty low-budget operation – which means your contribution matters more. We’re here because we believe in rail and what it enables in Vermont. Thank you for contributing to the cause.
Wishing you the best,
Christopher Parker Executive Director
(802) 536-4607 railvermont.org/civicrm/?civiwp=CiviCRM&q=civicrm/mailing/url&u=521&qid=43432
VERMONT RAIL ACTION NETWORK
PO BOX 6094 RUTLAND, VT 05702-6094 United States
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