Ethan Allen schedule change

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fdaley

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Poking around Amtrak's website today I discovered that the Ethan Allen Express schedule is changing effective Dec. 6, with the southbound running about four hours later than the current weekday schedule. It will now leave Rutland at 12:20 p.m., Albany at 3:15, and arrive at NYP at 5:45. This schedule appears to be in effect daily, eliminating the late afternoon/evening southbound run on Sundays.

The northbound train will now depart NYP at 2:20 p.m. daily. This is unchanged from the current Monday-Thursday schedule but does away with the later departures on Friday (5:45 p.m.) and Saturday-Sunday (3:15p).

The change affects the Empire Service schedule between Albany and New York, eliminating the 11:10 a.m. southbound departure from Albany on weekdays but adding a new 3:15 p.m. departure; it also eliminates the only departure from Albany after 8 p.m. on Sunday nights.

For those of us north of Albany, this change ends the possibility of a same-day connection to anywhere south of Washington. The old weekday schedule at least offered a reliable connection to the Silver Meteor. A 40-minute connection to the southbound Crescent also was possible, if a bit close for comfort, but of course the change to the northbound Crescent schedule this summer eliminated the reverse connection.

I haven't seen any advance notice of this on Amtrak's site or elsewhere, and of course there are no printable timetables to be had. Does anyone here know the reason for the change? I am wondering if it represents preparation for the extension of the Ethan Allen to Burlington, which last I knew was supposed to begin service by next summer.
 
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fdaley

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Does this have something to do with the upcoming expansion of service to Burlington, Vermont?

That's what I'm suspecting. Keeping the 8:15 a.m. southbound time out of Rutland would probably mean leaving Burlington at 6 a.m. or earlier. So I had expected it would move to a somewhat later slot. I just didn't think it would be four hours later.
 

chrsjrcj

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Does this have something to do with the upcoming expansion of service to Burlington, Vermont?

I remember seeing the proposed schedule for the Burlington extension over the Summer and thinking that I wouldn’t be able to do a same day connection with the Southbound Meteor, so my guess is this is it.
 

SubwayNut

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I don't know if this normally happens for Amtrak routes but one reason to reschedule the train now before the extension begins regular is to be able to run stimiluated service on the new schedule as needed without passengers on the new route for crew familiarization and other forms of testing.

Amtrak can't always do this obviously, in 2014 I rode on the last northbound Vermonter via Amherst and first southbound Vermonter via Northampton and Greenfield.

An example that immediately comes to mind is when the Second Avenue Subway opened on the New York City subway the extension opened on January 1, 2017 when Q trains started operating on the new line.

For most of 2016 the Q train at the time operated on the Astoria Line but was pushed back to 57th Street/7 Avenue on November 7, 2016, with the W train beginning operations again (this restored service along a route that was cut in 2010 due to buget cuts) between Whitehall Street and Astoria-Ditmars Blvd, during the two months before the extension opened at times full service was stimulated on the new subway extension with Q trains discharging all regular passengers before running without passengers on the new extension and returning to passenger service at 57 Street. It was really important to have this service change for a smooth service transition than re-introducting the W the next weekday (It's a train that only runs on weekdays).
 
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GoAmtrak

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I don't know if this normally happens for Amtrak routes but one reason to reschedule the train now before the extension begins regular is to be able to run stimiluated service on the new schedule as needed without passengers on the new route for crew familiarization and other forms of testing.
I recently read exactly what you wrote has recently started. Amtrak crews have started test runs to come familiar with the new route.

It's quite nice the extension to Burlington in Vermont might finally happen. Then, Vermont will be relatively well served by passenger rail, compared to other similarly rural states in the US.

Recently they said start will be in spring 2022. Now it's further delayed to summer 2022. Let's hope this is it and there are no further delays. If it's not ready in summer 2022 I'm afraid it won't open in fall either... because of something still missing or because of a new Corona variant:rolleyes:. It seems Corona generally starts to spread in fall.
 

neroden

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If this is the reason, it's interesting that they are changing the schedule so soon. Burlington service is not scheduled to start until summer 2022.
They have to rearrange a bunch of stuff related to staff and probably doing this part of the schedule change now makes it less of a hectic mess when Burlington service starts. Burlington service is essentially waiting for arrival of a single set of switch parts, so they don't really know when it'll happen and want to be ready to take the opportunity to start it earlier if the switch parts arrive earlier than expected.
 

coventry801

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I’m taking 448 from Chicago to New York and the earliest available for transferring at Albany was 244 when booking the ticket. I checked schedule and if 448 arrives Albany on time, I should be able to catch southbound Ethan Allen. Do you think I could get on that train with the ticket for empire train 244 without calling 800 number?
 
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jis

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I’m taking 449 from Chicago to New York and the earliest available for transferring at Albany was 244 when booking the ticket. I checked schedule and if 449 arrives Albany on time, I should be able to catch southbound Ethan Allen. Do you think I could get on that train with the ticket for empire train 244 without calling 800 number?
I don't think it is possible to take 449 from Chicago to New York or Boston. An eastbound train would have an even number. So the Lake Shore Limited from Chicago would have the numbers 48 and 448. So I am not sure what is it that you are asking.
 

coventry801

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I don't think it is possible to take 449 from Chicago to New York or Boston. An eastbound train would have an even number. So the Lake Shore Limited from Chicago would have the numbers 48 and 448. So I am not sure what is it that you are asking.
My bad for typo. I meant 448
 

daybeers

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I think you'd have to call or go to the ticket office to change the ticket since the Empire Service and Ethan Allen are all-reserved services. Though unfortunately it's not that simple; they'd probably make you pay the difference in fare between when you originally purchased the Empire Service ticket and the same-day Ethan Allen fare, if there would even be space.

Regarding 48/448, you can actually purchase a ticket for 448 along any section of 48 since they have to be separate trains in the reservation system because it's ancient and can't handle the extremely complicated action of combining two trains between two points 🙄🙄
 

fdaley

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You are correct👍. Transferring at Albany

Unless you're traveling on a Friday, Sunday or busy holiday, I'm sure you'd be able to get a ticket on the Ethan Allen from ALB to NYP at a decent fare, even at the last minute, but you would need to call the 800 number or go up into the station to change tickets. The big question is whether 48/448 would arrive in time to make the connection.
 

fdaley

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If the Lake Shore is on time and you can make the connection, you'd also arrive at New York about an hour earlier on the Ethan Allen. Also I have seen people book rooms in the Boston sleeper to Albany (maybe because there are rooms available at a better rate on 448 than on 48) and then change to a corridor train for the last leg to NYP.

When the Lake Shore is on time, it will sit in Albany for at least an hour and 40 minutes before continuing on its way.
 

coventry801

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Update:
On 244 right now.
448 was delayed and arrived Albany at 3:45pm so i was not able to catch the 3:10pm Ethan Allen.

Good news is 244 departed on time while 48 was still sitting at Albany.
 
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The Ethan Allen will run to Burlington, Vermont starting in July!

Well, at least we can now do a Vermont loop trip (with the Vermonter), even if the Burlington ferry and the Adirondack are not running.
 

John Bobinyec

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Will the Ethan Allen Express stop in Burlington in the same place that the Vermonter does? Or will it be at another, somewhat nearby, station?
jb
 
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