Vermont United stands for responsible railways

On behalf of so many concerned Shelburnites, the Vermont United working group would like to thank Kate Webb and Joan Lenes. The citizens of Shelburne are most fortunate to have you both engaged in and understanding of the critical issues we are facing regarding Vermont Rail System’s proposed transfer and storage rail yard.

We also want to provide Shelburne citizens, our Selectboard, town officials and others in our community with a little more information regarding our growing grassroots volunteer organization and efforts.

Vermont United (VU) is working to unite and help mobilize everyone who wants to make sure that the safety, environment, and community of Vermont come first and are never put at risk by inadequate oversight and regulations governing rail freight and all associated rail operations in our state. We are also committed to raising awareness by educating others and widely publicizing this issue.

Our vision is that it stops here, in Shelburne. We believe that Shelburne must be a change leader and role model for other Vermont communities that are and will be facing similar issues. VU will work to ensure that Vermont’s environment and safety are never compromised by reckless rail freight operations, and that spectacularly unsuitable rail development is never prioritized at the state level over the needs of Vermonters and Vermont communities.

The VU working group has a wide depth and breadth of skills, and together we have created collateral and videos, developed a grassroots campaign, circulated a petition garnering more than 1,000 signatures, reached out to decision makers and environmental experts, and collaborated with other Vermont towns and groups to unite stakeholders. And we’ve only just begun.

What’s next? A family-friendly rally will be held on Sunday, May 1 in partnership with Charlotte-based Citizens for Responsible Railroads and Toxic Action Center. Everyone should meet at 2pm at the Shelburne Community School and bring pots and pans and whistles, etc.  We will march to the town green, making lots of noise to bring attention to this issue. From 2:30 to 3pm speakers and musicians will provide information and entertainment. Please join us.

Our working group’s resource base is available to any and all that may want assistance and information regarding this issue. Want to volunteer?  Contact Roberta at roberta@vermontunited.org. Want to know more? Visit VermontUnited.org.

Most importantly, we trust that we may all continue to work toward constructive solutions that will secure the right outcomes for our community, safety, and environment.

Derrick Senior of Vermont United

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