Railfan & Railroad Magazine

Subscribe Today

Digital Editions FAQ

Meet the Staff

Railfan Hot Rail News

Railfan Timetable

New Products

Railfan Extra Board

Railfan Photo Line

Railfan Archive

Contact Us

Find us on Facebook

Support our Sponsors



Railfan & Railroad Classics - Summer 1975

The first Vermont Railway train plowed through the fresh snow as it handled three cars, a flanger, and a caboose southward near Shaftsbury on January 14, 1964. Alco RS-1 403 still wore Rutland green, but bore the letters "VTR" under the road number on the cab. Most people doubted the railroad would last a year. Photo by Jim Shaughnessy

Rutland Revival 1: The Vermont Railway

By Bruce P. Curry/photos as noted

Railfan & Railroad - Summer 1975The old Rutland embodied all the charm of New England railroading from its modest steam power to classic depots, high trestles, picturesque rural countryside and bankruptcy since the Great Depression. Its main lines originated from two different points, Bellows Falls and Bennington, in the heart of the Green Mountains of Vermont, joined together in the city of Rutland and headed north to Burlington where it went island hopping across the northern end of Lake Champlain on long rock causeways and timber trestles. Upon reaching the Canadian border at Rouses Point, the Rutland turned due west and paralleled the border all the way to the port of Ogdensburg on the St. Lawrence River. Consolidations, Mikados, Pacifies and Ten Wheelers were the typical steam power for freights, milk trains, locals and passenger trains. Four big 4-8-2's rolled symbol freights and the heavyweight Green Mountain Flyer from the end of World War II right into the Rutland's reorganization in 1950. The steam engines and parts of the railroad itself were used to finance diesel-ization in the early 1950's, as even the proud 4-8-2's were cut up for scrap which was sold to pay for RS1's and RS3's. The old "Corkscrew Subdivision" from Bennington to the New York Central at Chatham was torn up and sold for scrap to raise more money. Incredibly, even the modernized Rutland retained most of its old charm. The soul-satisfying Alcos wore a handsome green and yellow paint job that blended perfectly into the Rutland's quaint brand of railroading. But the medicine of modernization could only go so far, and in 1958 a federal marketing order wiped out most of the Rutland's milk business and labor problems were beginning to brew.

On September 15, 1960, the 331-mile Rutland Railway Corporation, which operated mainline trackage between Ogdensburg, N.Y., Bellows Falls and Bennington, Vermont, was struck by its operating employees. Citing management decisions which would consolidate home terminals and reduce the number of trains operated, the employees withheld their services for 45 days. The courts upheld the railroad's right to reduce the number of trains operated, and service resumed on November 1, 1960. An uneasy state of affairs existed thereafter until September 1961 when the operating brotherhoods demanded a wage increase consistent with national settlements. The Rutland countered, perhaps unwisely, that its ability to operate at a profit would necessitate revisions in operating work rules together with wage cuts! Another shutdown followed immediately, but few were prepared for the shock delivered on December 4, 1961, when Rutland President William Ginsburg applied to the Interstate Commerce Commission for permission to abandon the entire line.

Initial dismay gave way to formal protests which centered on the economic setback to the region that abandonment would bring. Some shippers would be stranded and possibly forced to close down their operations, several hundred Rutland employees would be out of work, and the states of New York and Vermont would be left with increased transportation costs and vastly reduced future growth potential.

Lehigh Valley Diesel Pictorial

Rails Beyond the Rutland

Order your copy from the Carstens Book Store today!

Opposing cessation of rail service, Vermont Governor F. Ray Keyser instructed the state Public Service Commission to retain the Wall Street consulting engineering firm of Coverdale & Colpitts to report on the feasibility of returning the Rutland Railway to operation. As the State felt its chief responsibility to be that of maintaining rail service in Vermont, the instructions to Coverdale & Colpitts specifically included the task of estimating the likely profitability of an intrastate system, i.e., the retention of the Rutland trackage in Vermont only. By February 1, 1962, the consulting engineers had prepared a 49-page report, which was accepted with mixed feelings. The report dealt at length with the possibilities of retaining one of three routes: (1) Norwood, N.Y., to Bellows Falls, Vt.; (2) Burlington, Vt., to Bellows Falls; and (3) Burlington to White Creek, N.Y. (N. Bennington). In all three cases, net losses were anticipated (based on 1961 costs) of $169,000, $715,000, and $643,000 respectively. In essence, Coverdale & Colpitts were of the opinion that the Rutland Railway would have the best chance of survival if all of its trackage was kept intact, and readily pointed out that the railroad would have made a profit of $153,000 for the year 1961 had the strike not shut down the line. Any future operation of the line which did not include all 331 miles would lead to certain loss of the valuable overhead business, especially that interchanged with the New York Central at Norwood.

Vermont Railway

North Bennington is the focal point of the south end of the Vermont Railway and the site of the Boston & Maine interchange. The old Victorian passenger station visible at extreme far left has been restored and in use by the town. Alco RS-1 401 is now gone, but North Bennington still retains much of its Rutland flavor. Photo by Jim Boyd

However, in a summation which seemed a harbinger of the Rutland's fate-to-be, the consultants admitted that most of the line's customers could be served by its connecting lines, the Boston & Maine, Delaware & Hudson, New York Central, and Central Vermont. Nevertheless, even here they personally doubted that the connecting roads would be very interested in buying up the trackage. The State thus found itself saddled with the responsibility of deciding what arrangements could be made to best serve the interests of its citizens. Governor Keyser, meanwhile, had entered into negotiations with the Rutland management whereby the State would be given an opportunity to purchase the line or segments of it, should the Rutland be allowed to abandon or choose not to operate any of its existing trackage. The negotiations also provided that the State then would be free to lease or sell its purchased trackage to persons willing to resume operations. Should the Rutland management find these proposals satisfactory, the State was prepared to drop its opposition to the railroad's abandonment petition. The Rutland Railway agreed to these conditions with the stipulation that complete abandonment could be effected within twenty months of March 1962, should the State of Vermont not exercise its option to take over operation of the line.

In late March the ICC examiners came to Vermont to receive testimony regarding the economic value of the railroad to all concerned. Following two weeks of meetings in cities and towns along the Rutland's right of way, they packed their bags and returned to Washington where they would decide the fate of the "Green Mountain Gateway."

Finally, on September 18, 1962, Interstate Commerce Commission docket No. 21870 was made public: the Rutland could abandon its line. The examiners report reflected on the plain facts that since the railroad's reorganization in 1950, the Rutland had carded red ink in the net railway operating income column every year except 1955 through 1958 when the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway brought a temporary boom in business to the Ogdensburg line. Interline traffic had declined very visibly by 11,000 carloads in the 1950's, while 1960 and 1961 alone had shown a further decrease of 18,200 carloads. It was apparent to the Commission that the 1960 strike had cost the Rutland major amounts of originating, terminating and overhead traffic, and that additional traffic was certain to be irretrievably lost as a result of the 1961 strike. They further acknowledged that the Northeast region itself had suffered a general economic decline in the past decade without the appearance of any corresponding growth of new industry. It was estimated that one-half million dollars in cash would be needed before full operations could be resumed, yet the Rutland had become so drained financially by the strike that it would be most difficult, if not impossible for the owners to resume operations.

In their summary the ICC examiners stated that while the Rutland had a hopeless future, there was still some public need for rail service in northern New York and western Vermont, an indication that immediate total abandonment was the only way to move quickly towards resumption of service by other carriers or interested parties. At the same time, the ICC refused to impose any protective conditions for the Rutland's employees affected by the abandonment, wherein the brotherhoods filed suit to obtain an injunction halting abandonment of the line.

In November, 1962, the Vermont gubernatorial elections placed Philip Hoff, a Democrat, in the governor's mansion, and subsequently Hoff, who had criticized his predecessor for lack of effective action as regards the Rutland, proposed a $3.5 million bond issue to purchase the entire Rutland trackage in Vermont. Despite the fact that the Legislature balked at the idea of the State owning a railroad in competition with tax-paying private transport, the legislation Bill H. 124 (1963), was passed in May, 1963. It provided for the acquisition of the abandoned rights of way in Vermont, as well as the creation of a State transportation authority to oversee its operation. In all, a scaled-down $2.7 million was appropriated, and all that remained was for the formal abandonment to be effected. At last, on June 19, an agreement was reached between the Rutland Railway and the brotherhoods whereby all litigation by both parties would cease, and a cash settlement would be made between the railroad and the unions on behalf of the four hundred employees on the payroll at the time of the 1961 strike. The Rutland was finally dead; now the State could get on with the job of finding parties who would be interested in operating its railroad.

As the summer of 1963 wore on into the fall, a certain degree of anxiety began to build at the State House in Montpelier. The Rutland's owners were anxious to rip up the track and sell off the remaining assets (they had previously disposed of most of the motive power and rolling stock). The State, on the other hand, had still not found a buyer for the railroad, to say nothing of a potential operator. If one or the other was not found by November, then under the terms of the 1962 Keyser-Ginsburg agreement, the Rutland would be free to do what it wished with its line.

Vermont Railway

The old downtown yard and shops were razed in the 1960s, with the Vermont Railway optioning to work out of a new office and diesel house on the south edge of Rutland. Photo by Jim Boyd

Enter Jay L. Wulfson, prospective operator and at that time an officer of the 15-mile Middletown & New Jersey Railroad, a downstate New York shortline. Acting on the strength of a second Coverdale & Colpitts report for the Vermont Public Service Commission which found that 92 of 106 major shippers on the Vermont trackage of the Rutland would return if service was restored, he signed a lease with the State transportation authority to operate the 122 miles of trackage between Burlington and White Creek together with the branch from North Bennington to Bennington. (The line from Rutland to Bellows Falls was also acquired by the State and later became the Green Mountain Railway.) The lease stipulated that the lessees would operate the line for forty years, but in fact, there were four ten-year renewable leases. The new operators agreed to pay rent to the State on a sliding percentage scale proportionate to the gross operating revenues of the railroad. In return, the operators took control of the right of way and those lineside structures as specified in the purchase agreement, plus a considerable amount of rail materials.

The Vermont Railway was incorporated as a privately-owned common carrier in October, 1963, and service began officially in the dead of winter on January 6, 1964. In preparation for the renewal of service, President Wulfson leased Middletown & New Jersey GE 44-tonner No. 1 for switching duties at Burlington until true motive power requirements were learned (a second 44-tonner was purchased from the Pensylvania Railroad as back-up power for No. 1). Rutland Railway RS1's 401-403 were acquired on a lease-purchase agreement for use on the mainline between Burlington and N. Bennington. The rolling stock on hand consisted of two ex-Rutland cabooses, a flanger, and a pair of snowplows.

Being a new and enthusiastic corporation, the Vermont Railway brought a bright new image to its second-hand engines and rolling stock. Andrew Morrison Associates designed a stylistic logo of three overlapping mountain peaks, and it was applied in white over bright red on the locomotives and cabooses, and against a rich green on freight cars. In its paint scheme, the VTR acknowledged its Rutland heritage by retaining the characteristic nose stripes of that road's units along with its style of numbers. (In black and white photos, VTR and Rutland Alcos appear identical from the front.) That bright new image had its work cut out for it, however.

Vermont Railway

Map illustration by Tony Koester

Winning back shipper confidence proved to be a difficult struggle; in fact, many were convinced that the new company would not last out the year. Under these circumstances, traffic agents found it difficult to lure old customers back to the rails, and almost impossible to convince new ones to locate in western Vermont. Service in the first few years consisted of a switch crew in Burlington, another in Rutland who performed double duty as both yard and road crew on the North Bennington turn, and a third crew which operated a train each weekday evening from Burlington to Rutland and return. Despite all the early pessimism, increased traffic soon warranted the purchase of a venerable SW1 from the Erie Lackawanna to replace the underpowered 44-ton GE's. However, while the EMD product certainly had more power, it was found to be very slow and slippery compared to the RS1's, and was itself soon replaced. A major step forward in the upgrading of the company's motive power program came in the fall of 1966 when delivery was taken of its first new locomotive, SW1500 501. Placed in service on the Southern Subdivision (Rutland-North Bennington), it brought immediate praise and satisfaction in terms of its tractive effort, reliability and reduced maintenance costs.

In response to the needs of its shippers, the Vermont Railway management soon had to make decisions regarding the acquisition of freight cars for traffic originated on line. During the course of the Rutland's abandonment proceedings, most of the rolling stock had been sold off, including a relatively new fleet of 345 Pullman Standard PS-1 boxcars, 15 ACF 70-ton covered hoppers and 27 70-ton gondolas. The majority of this rolling stock was acquired by the Hudson Leasing Company Inc. of New York City, who, in turn, leased most of it on a short-term basis to the Maine Central Railroad. By late 1964, 320 of the PS-1's and all of the gondolas had been acquired on a long-term lease, although it would be several years before the forest green of the VTR replaced the once-flashy green and golden yellow dress of the Rutland fleet.

Any freight cars which were found to be surplus to the needs of Vermont shippers quickly found their way into the increasingly popular car-hire market. In this capacity, VTR cars made their reporting marks familiar in all four corners of the continent. Acknowledging the rapid growth of piggyback traffic in the 1960's, a decision was made to capitalize on the market for this service by establishing terminals at Burlington, Rutland and North Bennington. Furthermore, arrangements were made with Hudson Leasing for the acquisition of several hundred forty-foot aluminum highway trailers which would be used to solicit off-line loadings in Vermont and other commercial centers in New England. It soon became apparent that the principle of car-hire could be applied just as successfully to trailers, so the VTR fleet expanded to meet the needs of shippers from coast to coast. Today some five thousand VTR Fruehauf and Trailmobile trailers can be found traversing the nation's rail and highway networks.

The VTR originates or terminates on line the majority of its freight traffic. The removal of the Rutland's trackage north and west of Burlington forfeited the overhead traffic to Canada and the Midwest. (In the clear light of hindsight, VTR management reportedly regrets not acquiring the line to CN and CP connections at Rouses Point.) The life-blood of the VTR is then its monopoly of rail traffic in western Vermont, especially in the major cities of Burlington (metropolitan population: 60,000) and Rutland (population: 20,000). Approximately 66% of all traffic is terminated (360,000 tons in 1973), while the remainder is originated (92,000 tons) and bridge traffic. The mainstay of the terminated traffic is dairy feed and agricultural products, road salt, lumber, coal, propane, gasoline, fuel oil, and many other miscellaneous carloads for the line's 150 customers. Ranking high in terms of originated traffic are many of Vermont's traditional products: maple syrup, limestone (chips, and white pigment for paint), marble, paper and other forest products. Most inbound traffic is delivered by the Boston & Maine at North Bennington, and the Delaware & Hudson at Rutland, with lesser amounts interchanged from the Central Vermont and Green Mountain railroads. Correspondingly, outbound traffic is delivered primarily to the B&M and D&H connections. More than 11,000 carloads were handled in 1973, an increase of 18% over the previous year. The only restrictions which hamper the movement of traffic is the tunnel at Middlebury and a low bridge at Proctor, both of which are located on the Northern Subdivision, and have clearances of seventeen feet.

Vermont Railway

Night at Rutland is a busy time on the Vermont Railway as the freight down from Burlington connects with the Delaware & Hudson. This scene was photographed in 1972 on the yard tracks used by the connecting Green Mountain Railway. Photo by Jim Boyd

By 1970 it had become apparent that the fleet of RS1's was incapable of handling the increased traffic of the line, and they could not make their scheduled runs within the prescribed employee twelve-hour law. While increasing age and lower horsepower worked against the Alcos, the operating profile was the clincher. Heavy grades between North Ferrisburg and Vergennes, and between Pittsford and Proctor, restricted southbound tonnage ratings greatly. An equally mean obstacle northbound was Shaftsbury Hill, a steady seven-mile climb out of North Bennington, or five miles if approached southbound from Arlington. In either direction, a single RS1 was restricted to 1600 tons. This being the case, two RS3's (601, 602) were purchased from the Lehigh & Hudson River in 1970 to be followed by two more (603, 604) from the Delaware & Hudson in 1972. This released the two remaining ex-Rutland RS1's (402, 403) and another (404) acquired from the Soo Line in 1967, which were subsequently sold to the Texas-based Sabine River & Northern Railroad in June, 1972. In reality, the RS3's are short-term replacements, for aside from their own increasing age, the VTR management feels that standardization of parts is the only practical course of action for a shortline railroad. In defense of the Alcos is the fact that aside from their stellar performance, they are also considerably cheaper to purchase on the second-hand market than a comparable EMD product. Nonetheless, a new GP38-2, 201, was delivered in December 1972 for service on the Burlington-Rutland run, thereby affording the train crew more available horsepower plus improved riding qualities. A second GP38-2, 202, joined the roster in October 1974.

All trains are dispatched by radio-telephone from the chief dispatcher's office in Rutland, the sole division point of the VTR. Four trains are scheduled daily: two northbound, two southbound; all others run as extra movements. Each weekday at 7:00 a.m., the Rutland yard switcher backs from the modern steel office/enginehouse complex and begins its day with the sorting of the consists of several trains which had arrived the previous evening. Normally the first to be switched are the cars of the D&H connection which had arrived at midnight from across the state line at Whitehall. Next, they break up the VTR train referred to in the timetable as BR-2, which had arrived in Rutland off the Northern Subdivision at 10:00 p.m. Last to be switched is CR-1, the VTR's train up from the B&M connection at North Bennington, which plays havoc with railfans by arriving back in Rutland in the wee hours of the morning. As the Vermont Railway performs all switching service in Rutland, the yard crew devotes their attention to assembling interchange blocks for the D&H and the Green Mountain Railway, as well as its own northbound and southbound dailies. This accomplished, the yard engine spends the balance of the day switching numerous local industries and tending to the make-up of the Clarendon & Pittsford turn.

Vermont Railway

The first diesel was leased Middletown & New Jersey 44-tonner No. 1. Three ex-Rutland RS-1's served as road power, and a second 44-tonner came from the Pennsy. The smaller locomotives were employd until power requirements could be determined once full operations began. Photo by Jim Shaughnessy

At 8:00 a.m. a crew reports to work in Burlington and begins the yard trick at the northern terminal. Along with its yard and switching duties, the locomotive based there also doubles as locomotive and car shop switcher. Normally a half-dozen freight cars are home at any one time for repairs or rebuilding in the shops which are housed in the former Rutland Railway five-stall brick enginehouse perched on the shore of Lake Champlain. Most locomotive repair and painting is also carried out in these shops, but heavy electrical repairs and wheel turning are normally contracted out to the D&H at its Colonie, N.Y., facility. Upon completion of any interchange with the Central Vermont, the Burlington yard crew will make up southbound freight BR-2 which leaves for Rutland at 6:00 p.m. behind a GP38-2, often mu'ed with one of the RS3's.

The Southern Subdivision run from Rutland to North Bennington has been held down by the SW1500 for most of the past eight years, although it has yielded to or m.u.-ed with RS1's and RS3's when tonnage demanded. Today it is usually teamed up with one of the GP38-2's. The North Bennington turn, carrying symbol RC-2, normally departs from Rutland about 3:00 p.m. and does the local work as required on the 52-mile run to North Bennington. Interchange is carried out there with the B&M which comes in during the afternoon or early evening. The VTR crew then makes the run down the branch to Bennington to serve several major shippers. When the work is completed, the train returns to Rutland as CR-1, switching as necessary in the communities along its route home.

The labor troubles which plagued the old Rutland and caused its ultimate demise have been largely avoided by the Vermont Railway, much as had been hoped by the State when it acquired the line to "get things going again." VTR employees belong to no labor unions and there are no work rules. Each employee must be qualified in his duties, but his work is not restricted to one specific area. If they are short a brakeman, a qualified sectionman or computer programmer can fill in, and it is not uncommon to find Mr. Wulfson or other high official operating a train. The employees like the arrangement since management obviously spends a lot of money on equipment maintainence and good track in return, and the whole operation has the feeling of a permanent and secure business.

Vermont Railway

Vermont Railway's newest diesel is read-and-white GP38-2 202, which bears the name of Sen. George Aiken, seen here teamed up with 602 departing Burlington in March 1975. Photo Bob Baker

A recent addition to the operating procedure of the system has been the acquisition of the neighboring Clarendon & Pittsford Railroad. Acquired in November 1972 for $65,000 from its previous owners, the Vermont Marble Company, the 20-mile line virtually parallels the VTR from Rutland to Florence. Following its purchase, the C&P's two Whitecomb 44-ton center-cab switchers were scrapped, although the Clarendon & Pittsford itself continues to exist as a separate company with its own operating employees. An Alco S4 was purchased to replace the Whitcombs, and it is rented to the C&P although it wears the full red and white paint scheme of the Vermont Railway. Each weekday at 7:00 a.m., the C&P crew backs the S4, number 6, from the newly enlarged enginehouse at Rutland, collects its train and departs for Center Rutland, Proctor and Florence, where the marble and limestone operations of its former owner are located. Aside from special movements, there are normally no weekend operations on the VTR. However, from early spring until late November, a considerable number of extra trains are run to handle solid coal trains consigned to the city of Burlington's thermal-electric utility. Originating in West Virginia, the coal is turned over to the VTR in Rutland by the D&H.

What, may you ask, is the Vermont Railway's key to profitability these past eleven years in light of the Rutland's bleak operating prospects back in 1961? Management is proud to point out that since 1964 the gross receipts of the railway have almost tripled, reaching close to $1.5 million in 1973. Black ink has similarly been recorded in each of the past years but one, when a minor deficit was incurred. For 1973, the company posted an operating ratio of 92.04 which is somewhat artificial, for under ICC reporting procedures a railroad may not use non-railroad, or freight car— or trailer —rental earnings to bolster its operating ratio, and the VTR has been earning a substantial amount of income from trailer leasing.

Several reasons are of paramount importance in explaining the successful operation of a route which was deemed in 1962 to be an unprofitable venture at best. To be sure, the Vermont Railway is a lean railroad, unhampered by surplus plant and employing but eighty-one employees. Despite the admonishments of the consulting engineers, time has proven that the most profitable segment of the former 331-mile system was wisely retained. Contrary to popular belief, the physical plant of the Rutland was in reasonably good shape at the time of abandonment, so that during the course of the past ten years, tie replacement has been the only major item of expense in the maintenance operating budget (36,000 ties were replaced in 1973). To make the job more efficient, the company has made heavy capital outlays in the area of maintenance of way mechanization. Thirty employees are responsible for track conditions, and enlist the aid of automatic ballast regulators, brush cutters, tampers, etc. to do the job. Similarly, the trackage considered to be the most expensive to maintain and least profitable, the long wooden curved trestle across Lake Champlain, was never considered in the company's plans. Nor was the former Bellows Falls Subdivision with its many bridges, grades, and severe winter operating conditions. (This line became the Green Mountain Railway.) Moreover, the large shop complex at Rutland, long since razed in favor of a shopping center, was avoided as being unnecessarily large and expensive to maintain.

The energy crisis of the past spring brought with it a request from the State transportation authority that the railroad investigate the feasibility of restoring intercity passenger service between major on-line cities, especially Burlington and Rutland, and Burlington and Essex Junction, the site of a large IBM plant. Railroad questionnaires elicited a positive response in terms of expected patronage, but problems arose almost immediately. The search for a Budd RDC ended in frustration, for none were to be had in the United States or Canada. Furthermore, the railroad faced the prospect of increased liability insurance as a passenger carrier, along with the burden of ICC-mandated twice-yearly electronic track inspections. On top of this, it was found that subsidization would have to come from the State, as Washington directly subsidized only Amtrak routes and was not ready to contemplate grants for the service in question. The proposed service has since faded considerably in light of logistics problems and little actual promise of subsidization by the parties concerned.

Vermont Railway

Burlington Yard is the real home of the Vermont Railway, even though Rutland has more business and is the location of the dispatcher. Ex-Rutland RS-1's 401 and 402 have just caboosed the daily freight for Rutland on July 25, 1967, and are about to get on the head end for departure. Photo by Jim Shaughnessy

The future prospects of the Vermont Railway are certainly bright, so much so in fact, that the company has placed orders for 150 new boxcars, 500 highway trailers, and a general rebuilding of the entire present boxcar fleet. However, at present there is certainly genuine concern in Vermont with respect to the morass of railroad bankruptcies in the Northeast. Officers of the company as well as legislators in New York and Vermont are acutely aware of the desirability of a successful ConRail plan, for it in turn controls the fate of the VTR's two main connections, the Boston & Maine and Delaware & Hudson. Of the two, the B&M's present bankruptcy is the most critical, for its dismemberment would certainly lead to the bankruptcy of the D&H and possible traffic routing problems for the VTR. In fact, the Vermont Railway has officially placed itself in the camp opposed to the B&M's abandonment, in light of a Department of Transportation study which concluded that transportation in New England would be little affected by B&M's demise. In the unlikely case that the Boston & Maine be dismembered, the VTR has insisted that it be given the option of operating the B&M trackage from White Creek to Rotterdam Junction, N.Y., where connection could make with ConRail. However, at this point the whole question of ConRail is clouded, but the D&H appears to be in reasonable health and guaranteed a competitive position, while the B&M has steadfastly indicated its intention to fight for its own private income-based reorganization.

Railfan & Railroad Archive

Actually, the Vermont Railway management is reluctant for several reasons to take over operation of an additional 50 miles of track. The operation of the VTR is presently divided between two subdivisions of roughly 60 miles each in length, which allows both efficient service and good utilization of employees and equipment. The addition of a new subdivision south of North Bennington, or extension of the present Southern Subdivision, might well lead to more operating problems than it solves. Secondly, the five miles of B&M trackage between White Creek and Hoosick Junction, N.Y., have suffered from years of deferred maintenance and would cost a considerable sum to upgrade. Finally, the terminal costs involved in entering the Albany-Rotterdam Junction gateway would be considerably higher than continunig the present arrangement of interchanging traffic in sleepy, uncongested southern Vermont.

In contrast to the suffering of other railroads in the area, the Vermont Railway may be showing the way for segments of ConRail's bankrupts to prepare for the future. Personalized service and a trim physical plant go a long way towards permitting the VTR to continue to live up to its slogan as "Servants of the scenic Green Mountain area." It is also satisfying to know that there is still a strong piece of the old Rutland running around in Vermont.

In the next issue of RAILFAN, we will examine the two other segments of the Rutland that are operating today for new owners: the Green Mountain Railway and the Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority.

Vermont Railway Locomotive Roster

Road No.
Builder
Model
Serial No.
Date Built
Note
1
GE
44-ton
28467
4/1947
1
5
EMD
SW1
1054
4/1940
2
6
Alco
S4
80631
8/1953
3
10
GE
44-ton
29967
6/1948
4
201
EMD
GP38-2
72665-1
12/1972
202
EMD
GP38-2
75603-1
10/1974
250
Alco
RS1
75557
10/1947
5
401
Alco
RS1
79350
10/1951
6
402
Alco
RS1
70572
10/1951
7
403
Alco
RS1
79573
11/1951
7
404
Alco
RS1
75215
12/1946
8
501
EMD
SW1500
31990
9/1966
601
Alco
RS3
78926
7/1951
9
602
Alco
RS3
78071
6/1950
10
603
Alco
RS3
80181
8/1952
11
604
Alco
RS3
80188
9/1952
12

Notes
1. ex-Middletown & New Jersey No. 1, leased and returned in 1964
2. ex-Lackawanna 355, purchased 1965, sold to Andrew Merrilees, Toronto, Canada, in October 1966
3. ex-C&O 5107, purchased through George Silcott, June 1973
4. ex-PRR 9334, purchased 1964, sold May 1965 to Livonia, Avon & Lakeville
5. ex-NYS&W 250, purchased November 1965 for trade-in to EMD on 501
6. ex-Rutland Railway 401, purchased January 1964, sold to Consumers Power Co. (Bay City, Mich.) in January 1967
7. ex-Rutland 402-403, purchased January 1964, sold to Sabine River & Northern in June 1972
8. ex-Soo Line 102, purchased March 1967, sold to Sabine River & Northern in June 1972
9. ex-L&HR 12, purchased in January 1970, stored unserviceable
10. ex-L&HR 3, purchased in November 1970
11. ex-D&H 4091, purchased in April 1972
12. ex-D&H 4098, purchased in April 1972

Clarendon & Pittsford Railroad C.o. Locomotive Roster

Road No.
Builder
Model
Serial No.
Date Built
Note
10
Whit.
44DE18A
60631
3/1945
1
11
Whit.
44DE18A
60632
3/1945
1
500
GE
70-ton
31175
12/1951
2

Notes
1. Sold for scrap to Rutland Waste & Metal Co., June 1973
2. Sold to Kelley's Creek & Northwestern, April 1972

This article originally appeared in the Summer 1975 issue of Railfan & Railroad.

Lehigh Valley Diesel Pictorial

Rails Beyond the Rutland

Order your copy from the Carstens Book Store today!

 
 

About Our Company

White River Productions

Advertise With Us

 

Our Publications

Railroad Model Craftsman

Railfan & Railroad

Shop Our Products

Subscribe Today

Books

Resources

Contact Customer Service

Dealer Service

 

 

White River Productions

©2009-2014 All Rights Reserved :: White River Productions :: P.O. Box 48 :: Bucklin, MO 64631 :: (816) 285-6560