07102021 Charlene Lovett

Charlene Lovett

By Charlene Lovett

On Monday, July 19, the Vermonter will resume providing Amtrak service from St Albans to Washington D.C. As the only New Hampshire stop on this line, Claremont will be joining other Vermont stations along the line to celebrate its return.

For those who are patrons of Amtrak travel, this is a long-awaited event. For others, it is an opportunity to learn more about what the Vermonter has to offer. Either way, Claremont’s Station Host Association will be hosting a celebratory event at 11:30 a.m. on July 19 and will be available to answer questions and assist passengers traveling via Amtrak.

Please note that the federal government still requires passengers to wear masks during train travel.

It has been 17 months since the Vermonter last ran. In that time, much has changed at the Claremont Stop. Amtrak redesigned and completed construction of the platform, now offering greater handicap accessibility and better lighting. The Timberpeg post and beam waiting pavilion, which was donated by WHS Homes in 2015, is now also handicap accessible and furnished with refurbished benches. As steward of the only New Hampshire Amtrak stop on the western side of the state, the City of Claremont invites the public to join us for this celebration.

The event will begin promptly at 11:30 a.m. with music played by the Claremont American Band, led by Ed Evensen. Following the music, officials from both the federal delegation and city will say a few words. Scheduled to arrive at 12:06 a.m., we will be greeting the southbound train with music and cheers from the crowd. Station hosts will be available to assist both arriving and departing passengers amidst all the festivities.

In addition to the event itself, the Claremont-Sugar River Rotary will be selling ice cream bars, provided by Wades, for $1 each. Available flavors are mint, chocolate, vanilla and llama party (cupcake). A member of the city administration will also be onsite to provide information about Claremont.

The city and surrounding communities of Claremont have long recognized the importance of passenger rail service as a key component of our intermodal transportation system. Passenger rail, leveraged correctly, can benefit both our economy and environment. Because of its importance to tourism and trade, plans are underway to extend the Vermonter to Montreal, Canada.

Whether a current or potential train traveler or simply a train enthusiast, we hope that you will join us at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, July 19, to celebrate the long-awaited return of Amtrak service to our area.

If you would like to learn more about the Vermonter and the festivities planned along the rail line, please visit vtrans.vermont.gov. If you would like to learn more about the Claremont Station Hosts Association, please contact Sharon Wood at (603) 542-6454 or via email at Sharon_wood@pobox.com.

Charlene Lovett is the mayor of Claremont and welcomes your feedback. Please email questions, comments or concerns to her at clovett.ccc@gmail.com

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