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Giving Tuesday update: What an incredible day! Thank you to the nearly 3,000 supporters who made a gift to our campaign - your generous support will strengthen public media in Vermont and will provide more than 107,000 meals to the Vermont Foodbank.


All Aboard? Vermont's Western Rail Corridor

Toby Talbot
The state has made the completion of the Western Rail Corridor a top transportation priority.

Interstate-89 and the Vermonter passenger train link Burlington with the eastern side of the state and beyond. The Ethan Allen passenger line ends at Rutland. But when it comes to tying Rutland, Bennington and the western side of the state with Vermont's most-populous city, there's the mostly two-lane U.S. Route 7.

That's where the long-discussed Western Rail Corridor would come in. VTrans has made this line a priority in its most-recent rail plan. But there's still 11 miles where continuous welded rail needs to be laid. Hurdles include funding and some concerns about safety and construction in towns along the way.   

We hear from Deputy Secretary of Transportation Chris Cole, Rutland Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jamie Stewart and Ben Wilson, head of community affairs for the Better Middlebury Partnership, about their thoughts on what the future of rail should look like in Vermont.

Also on the program, less than 1% of SNAP benefits coming into the state are redeemed at farmers' markets. We talk to local foods administrator Abbey Willard from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture about the efforts underway to increase access to fresh, local produce for SNAP users.

Plus, we hear an installment of VPR Classical's 'Timeline' series that takes us back to the 1500s, when women's contributions to art were undervalued, but one woman's music shined through.

 Broadcast live on Wed., Aug. 5, 2015 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.