LYNDON – Many questioned the merger between Johnson State College and Lyndon State College, mostly asking why they did not name the new school “Lyndon Johnson University.” The answer to that question is simple: they were unable to convince Baines College Consulting in New Jersey to join the new organization, leaving them to choose the Northern Vermont University name. But others have also questioned the distance between the two schools. With over an hour of driving from one campus to the other, how could this possibly work? But school planners say they would never have agreed to the deal without a solution, and now they are ready to reveal the plan to the public.
Work is already underway on a bullet train that will travel between the two campuses, covering the 40 mile distance in only 12 minutes. Trains will run every 15 minutes between the two stations, named after two important figures in Vermont’s history, Linda Ann Judson Richards, America’s first trained nurse, and Revolutionary War hero Gen. John Nixon, who is buried in Weybridge, VT.
The tracks will be wide enough for two trains, each paid for through sponsorships, and will run trains back and forth simultaneously between the stations from 5 AM until midnight every day. The first train will be called “The Harding,” sponsored by Paul B. Harding of mega-law firm Martin, Harding, and Mazzotti. The train will display an advertisement for the company on the sides featuring their 1-800-LAW-1010 telephone number and inside the train their jingle will be played on repeat. The second train has been sponsored by the town of Warren, VT and will feature advertising material encouraging local tourism.
The trains should be up and running by the fall, so students will jump on the “Warren” or “Harding” to travel the Richards-Nixon line between Lyndon and Johnson campuses for classes, giving them plenty of time to grab a snack from the cafe, now sponsored by the family of architect Gerald Bull, and by Lamoille Valley Ford in Hardwick.