$17.5 million rail purchase halted

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The state of Vermont has decided not to go forward with a deal to purchase over $17.5 million worth of passenger rail cars.

The Agency of Transportation had planned to purchase five new rail cars for the Amtrak Vermonter line. The new trains would have been less expensive to operate than the older cars that currently run on the track.

The legislature approved the deal earlier this with the condition that the manufacturer would buy back the cars after three years or resell them at 90 percent of the purchase price if the project was unsuccessful.

After negotiations with Colorado Railcar and Amtrak, the state was unable to reach a deal that met those conditions.

Transportation Secretary Neal Lunderville says his agency is discussing the value of the new rail cars with the congressional delegation and has requested federal financial assistance. 

Passenger rail service will continue along the Vermonter line with trains owned by Amtrak.


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