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MONTPELIER – Lawmakers got their first look Wednesday at a "back to the future" effort to reintroduce passenger rail service in Vermont to counteract transportation costs, parking problems in the Capital City and concerns about climate change.

Several lawmakers, including freshmen who are passionate about addressing energy use and climate change, welcomed the arrival of a Budd Rail diesel car in Montpelier, one of 10 that could be used to start passenger rail service in central and western Vermont.

The proposal is the brainchild of David Blittersdorf, a Vermont industrialist with a long history in the renewable energy business, first through NRG wind turbines and then with solar energy through AllEarth Renewables, both based in Williston. A spinoff division, AllEarth Rail, is focused on bringing back passenger rail with 1950s-era diesel rail cars that can each carry up to 94 passengers.


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