Green Mountain Railroad

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Green Mountain Railroad
Green Mountain Railroad logo.png
Reporting mark GMRC
Locale Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York
Dates of operation 1964 to present–
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Headquarters Bellows Falls, Vermont

The Green Mountain Railroad (reporting mark GMRC) is a class III railroad operating in Vermont.

GMRC operates on tracks that had been owned by the Rutland Railroad and Boston and Maine Railroad. The railroad operates on a rail line between North Walpole, New Hampshire, and Rutland, Vermont. Corporate colors are green and yellow.

Once owned by F. Nelson Blount, the founder of Steamtown, USA, GMRC controlled the tracks that were used for Steamtown's excursions between Riverside Station in Bellows Falls and Chester, Vermont. After Blount's death in 1967, GMRC changed hands, and a bitter relationship between two organizations developed.[1]

History[edit]

The Green Mountain Railroad was formed in early 1964 when F. Nelson Blount, who also operated a museum of steam locomotives, called Steamtown, USA, in North Walpole, New Hampshire, convinced the State of Vermont to acquire 52 miles (84 km) of track between Bellows Falls and Rutland, which he would operate as the Green Mountain Railroad.[2] Also in 1964, incorporation papers were filed for the "Steamtown Foundation for the Preservation of Steam and Railroad Americana". The first order of business for the non-profit charitable, educational organization was to acquire the Blount collection at North Walpole, and relocate it to property once owned by the Rutland Railroad, in Bellows Falls.[3]

In 1966, the GMRC obtained trackage rights over Boston and Maine track between Bellows Falls and North Walpole, allowing the GMRC access to servicing and storage facilities for locomotives, which had previously been lacking. Blount was killed when his private airplane hit a tree during an emergency landing in Marlborough, New Hampshire, on August 31, 1967.[4] He had held the controlling interest in the GMRC, owning 746 of the 750 shares of the company. In 1968, in response to Blount's death, 49% of the railroad's shares were sold to private investors, with the remainder being held by Robert Adams, president of the railroad from 1968 until 1978.[5] By 1976, the relationship between Steamtown and GMRC was strained as the two organizations fought over maintenance of the tracks, which were owned by the state of Vermont.[1] Steamtown relocated to Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1983, and shortly afterward GMRC began offering its own passenger excursions on diesel-powered trains over the same stretch of track.

During the 1980s, the GMRC struggled to maintain consistent profits, relying largely on on-line traffic. Despite a position as a bridge carrier between the Delaware and Hudson Railroad, and later the Clarendon and Pittsford Railway, at Rutland, and the Boston and Maine at North Walpole, this traffic was limited, as the Boston and Maine was consistently unfriendly towards the Green Mountain. Reflecting this uncomfortable position, the GMRC's traffic during the 1980s was generally less than 2000 cars moved per year. In 1986, a strike at the Delaware & Hudson led to the evaporation of what little overhead traffic the railroad was handling. During the early 1990s, however, overhead traffic like limestone and fly ash had increased, making up for a decrease in traditional on-line traffic like talc. By the mid 1990s, traffic had increased to upwards of 4,000 annual carloads, and has increased today to upwards of 5,000 annual carloads. When the New England Central Railroad commenced operations in 1995, this allowed the GMRC to offer service southward on the NECR, which had previously been prohibitively expensive when the route was owned by the Central Vermont Railroad. In 1997, the GMRC was acquired by the Vermont Railway, forming the basis for the Vermont Rail System, which would grow to include five railroads in Vermont and one in New York.[5]

Fleet[edit]

As of October 2013, the GMRC's fleet consisted of the following:[5]

Green Mountain Railroad Alco RS1 #405 at Bellows Falls, VT. This engine is former Rutland Railway #405 and it is the oldest engine on the GMR fleet.


Number Type Power Manufacturer and date manufactured
302
GP40
3,000 hp
EMD, 1971
304
EMD GP40
3,000 hp
EMD, 1971
305
EMD GP40
3,000 hp
EMD, 1970
405
ALCO RS-1
1,000 hp
ALCO, 1951
804
EMD GP-9 rebuild
1,750 hp
EMD, 1955

Former units of the Green Mountain Railroad fleet[edit]

These units are no longer in service on the Green Mountain Railroad. They have either been sold to other railroads or have been scrapped for parts.

89
2-6-0
Former Canadian National Railway. Purchased by the Strasburg Rail Road in 1972.
303
S4
Former Delaware and Houdson # 3036, later sold to the Quincy Railway. After serving on the GMR, sold to the Claremont and Concord Railway in the 1980s.
305
S4
Former Delaware & Hudson # 3050. Became a People's Mover Mover and repainted black and white. Later became Washington County #406 and repainted back in GMR colors.
400
RS1
Former Gulf, Mobile, & Ohio 1053. Later sold to Danbury Railway Museum in early 1996 and repainted as New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad # 673.
401
RS1
Former ITC 756, sold to Catskill Mountain Railroad in the late 1990s.
901
GP9
Cannibalized for parts, later scrapped.
1848
GP9
Former Bangor & Aroostook #76, sold to the Belvidere and Delaware River Railroad in 1996.
1849
GP9
Former Burlington Northern #1849 (originally Northern Pacific # 223), sold to the Belvidere and Delaware River Railroad in 1996.
1850
GP9
Former Chesapeake & Ohio # 6181, sold to the Belvidere and Delaware River Railroad in 2006.
3026
S2
Former Delaware and Hudson #3026. Was going to be Green Mountain #302, but was in too poor condition to run. It was cannibalized for parts and scrapped in the 1980s.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Steamtown Seeks Increased Control Over Tracks. Lewiston Daily News. October 5, 1976. Pg. 10 Accessed July 14, 2010
  2. ^ For a detailed history of the railroad, see Nimke, R. W., "Green Mountain Railroad: Southern Vermont's Mountain Railroad," (1995, R. W. Nimke Publisher).
  3. ^ Sawyer, Mina Titus. Maine's 'Iron Horses' Head For Their Last Dramatic Round-up. Lewiston Evening Journal. February 1, 1964. Accessed July 12, 2010
  4. ^ Millionaire Dies in Plane Crash. The Milwaukee Journal, September 1, 1967. Pg. 2. Accessed July 14, 2010
  5. ^ a b c Jones, Robert C. (2006). Vermont Rail System: A Railroad Renaissance. Evergreen Press. ISBN 0-9667264-5-6. 

External links[edit]