Champlain Flyer

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Champlain Flyer
Burlington Union Station platform.jpg
Champlain Flyer platform at Burlington
Service type Commuter rail
Status Discontinued
Locale Chittenden County, Vermont
First service December 4, 2000
Last service February 28, 2003
Successor Champlain Valley Flyer
Current operator(s) Vermont Railway
Start Burlington
Stops 3
End Charlotte
Distance travelled 13 miles (21 km)
Service frequency 7.5 round trips per day
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Track owner(s) Vermont Railway
Route map

The Champlain Flyer was a commuter train that operated in Vermont between Burlington, Shelburne, and Charlotte during 2000–03.

The service was started to provide an alternative to US 7 during its construction and to take advantage of public funds earmarked for public transportation. The train began operation on December 4, 2000, with two daily round-trips, with plans to operate as many as ten. Startup costs were $18 million, most of which were provided by Federal government for improving the tracks and grade crossings along the route. At the time of its inception, it was the shortest commuter rail system in the United States.[1][2]

The service's rolling stock consisted of a rebuilt Vermont Railway GP38-2 and ten ex-Virginia Railway Express de-motored RDC cars. Two of these cars were outfitted with cab control.[3] Fares were $1 for a one-way trip, collected on the honor system by being deposited in a box upon entering the train.[4]

The train never attracted the ridership that was hoped for and, in 2002, it was threatened to be cut from the state budget.[2] The newly elected Gov. Jim Douglas (who succeeded Gov. Howard Dean of Shelburne) decided that the train was not viable, and the last train ran on February 28, 2003.[5]


  1. ^ "BIG BUCKS FOR A LITTLE RAILROAD". Cincinnati Post  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). December 5, 2000. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  2. ^ a b "ISSUE OF REPAYMENT RAISED IN RAIL DEBATE". Boston Globe  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). March 18, 2002. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  3. ^ Wilkins, Van (March 1, 2001). "Commuter Rail update 2001". Mass Transit  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  4. ^ Melzer, Matt (2001-07-31). "Rail Travelogue: Matt Melzer's East Coast Rail Journey". Retrieved 2015-02-09. 
  5. ^ "Vermont Transportation Authority's Champlain Flyer". Railway Age  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). April 1, 2003. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 

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