What’s with all the railroad construction around Burlington’s Union Station?

Gravel trucks have dumped tons of crushed stone up and down the railroad at Burlington’s waterfront, between King and College streets.

Crews from Vermont Rail System have shoved track about 10 feet to the east, in the direction of Union Station.

Traffic has crept past heavy-duty excavators at the rail crossing crossing next to the ECHO Center.

A Vermont Rail System crew loosens bolts on a track near Burlington's Union Station on Nov. 12, 2020. The excavator in the background has been gradually shifting the track east, onto a newly laid bed of gravel.

The operation is a novelty to this part of the Queen City waterfront — but not to the industry.

“This is what we do all year,” said Selden Houghton, the Burlington-based company’s vice president, of the pushing-and-pulling of tons of track across the statewide network. “It’s fairly routine.” 

An excavator moves gravel onto a newly prepared rail bed outside Local Motion in Burlington on Nov. 6, 2020. The crushed stone will support the tracks, which will be shifted about 10 feet east.

This project will likely be completed by Thanksgiving, but it’s part of long-awaited transformation of rail travel to this part of Vermont that will take at least another year to complete.

Subscribers can read the full story here about how, slowly but steadily, public and private enterprise is nudging Vermont’s largest city into a new age of rail.

A construction crew prepares to install a new sewer/stormwater system beneath College Street in Burlington on Nov. 9, 2020.

Contact Joel Banner Baird at 802-660-1843 or joelbaird@freepressmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @VTgoingUp.

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