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UPDATE: Amtrak launches new NYC-Burlington, Vermont service this Friday

July 27, 2022
4 min read
UPDATE: Amtrak launches new NYC-Burlington, Vermont service this Friday
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This Friday, July 29, Amtrak will resume service between New York City and Burlington, Vermont for the first time since 1953.

The approximately 7.5-hour-long trip aboard the Ethan Allen Express between New York City and Burlington offers fares starting at $75.

“We will be able to climb aboard a train in downtown Burlington, and arrive in New York City in time for dinner,” Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said in a statement. “This long-desired service will give a boost to our economic recovery at a critical time, and give travelers a new, lower-carbon connection to New York and the rest of the Amtrak system.”

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Details of the Ethan Allen Express expansion

Ethan Allen Express expansion test run (Screenshot via Rail Magazine Twitter)

The new extension of the Ethan Allen Express route from New York City will include daily northbound service departing Penn Station at 2:21 p.m. and arriving in Burlington at 9:55 p.m., according to the state transportation department’s press release. Southbound service will depart Burlington at 10:10 a.m. and arrive in New York City at 5:45 p.m. Tickets are now available for booking on Amtrak’s website, with some business class fares on select days already selling out.

The route concludes in the newly restored and updated Burlington Union Station, located on Main Street along Burlington’s scenic Lake Champlain waterfront. The station is part of the National Register of Historic Places and is located within Burlington’s Battery Street Historic District, so passengers can enjoy a bit of history during their visit. The station was last used as a hub by The Rutland Railroad company in 1953. The Vermont Rail System operates passenger excursion trains from Burlington’s Union Station, so visitors can extend their train exploration of Vermont.

The new Amtrak route and station expansion has been in the works since 2019. It has required some long-term construction on tracks, stations and platforms at some Vermont locations including Burlington, Middlebury and Vergennes. The train will introduce new stops at the Vergennes and Middlebury stations. “Local, state and federal officials have been working to re-establish this vital transportation link for decades,” according to the Burlington mayor’s statement.

Previously, Amtrak service on the Ethan Allen Express had reached just as far as the Rutland, Vermont station — about 70 miles south of Burlington. Currently, Amtrak offers access as far as Essex Junction (about 8 miles from downtown Burlington) albeit on the local Vermonter train route which takes nearly 9 hours, due to many more stops on a route winding through Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

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Related: Amtrak resumes first post-pandemic Vermont train service

Train travel a good choice in a high-priced summer

Summer views like this one can be seen by rail in Vermont (Photo by Jacob Harrison/The Points Guy)

Riding the rails to northern Vermont will be a smarter choice during a summer of high gas prices. “Passenger rail travel offers beautiful scenery, relaxation, and spacious and comfortable seating, and trains are nearly three times more energy-efficient than automobiles,” Joe Flynn, Vermont’s secretary of transportation, said in the announcement. The Ethan Allen Express route runs through upstate New York through Albany, with stops in Saratoga Springs and Schenectady. The route provides great views of the scenic Hudson River Valley, which is a great place to stop for a summer excursion. During the fall, this route will give passengers a chance to sit back and enjoy a fine leaf-peeping trip.

Amtrak believes that railroad leisure travel is making a comeback, with spokesperson Jason Abrams telling TPG that “the love for train travel hasn’t gone away” during the pandemic, and that more than 30% of passengers in recent months have been new passengers, perhaps signaling to a future of overall increased train travel. In May 2022, Amtrak had more than 4,200 riders aboard the Ethan Allen Express, according to Abrams, an increase of more than 400 riders at the same time in 2019.

Related: Amtrak expands summer schedule in the northeast

Featured image by Amtrak's new service announcement at Burlington VT station (Photo courtesy Amtrak)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

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  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more