Vermont Railway

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Vermont Railway
VTR logo.png
Reporting mark VTR
Locale Vermont, New Hampshire,and New York
Dates of operation 1964 to present (1964 to present)
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Headquarters Burlington, Vermont

The Vermont Railway (reporting mark VTR) is a shortline railroad in Vermont and eastern New York, operating much of the former Rutland Railway. It is the main part of the Vermont Rail System, which also owns the Green Mountain Railroad, the Rutland's branch to Bellows Falls. The trackage is owned by the Vermont Agency of Transportation except in New York, where VTR operates a line owned by the Boston and Maine Corporation.[1]

History[edit]

The Rutland Railway was the only north-south line through western Vermont. A strike shut it down on Sept. 25, 1961. The Government of Vermont purchased the main line south of Burlington, as well as a branch to Bennington, 128.6 miles (207.0 km) total, and the new Vermont Railway, incorporated on Oct. 25, 1963, began operations on Jan. 6, 1964.[2] The company's first president was Jay Wulfson, who came from the Middletown and New Jersey Railroad.[3]

During the early years of the Vermont Railway, a great deal of energy and money was expended replacing the old locomotives and rolling stock the railroad had inherited from the Rutland, buying several locomotives, both new and used, as well as leasing several hundred freight cars. The railroad continued to expand, entering the intermodal business in 1965, and acquiring the Clarendon and Pittsford Railroad in 1972, which gave VTR access to a major limestone plant near Florence, VT. VTR retained the Clarendon and Pittsford name as a separate legal entity operating the acquired trackage. In the late 1970s, despite the deaths of several senior officials, including Wulfson, the railroad earned more than $2 million in revenues for the first time, although net earnings remained much lower, at about $20,000 a year, all of which was put back towards improving the railroad.[3]

In 1982, VTR paid back the State of Vermont for the trackage the State bought in 1964 to allow VTR to begin operations. A year later, VTR bought 23.7 miles (38.1 km) of track between Rutland and Whitehall, New York from the Delaware and Hudson Railroad and assigned it to its Clarendon and Pittsford subsidiary. The track was severely deteriorated at the time of purchase, with track speeds as low as 6 miles per hour (9.7 km/h) over the entire line. During the first years after the purchase, a major rehabilitation project was begun, upgrading the roadbed as well as the track and ties. Since the line was brought up to better standards, Whitehall has become a major interchange point between VTR and the D&H (now Canadian Pacific after their acquisition of the D&H).[3]

In 1997, the Vermont Railway purchased the Green Mountain Railroad, which ran 52.2 miles (84.0 km) from Rutland to Bellows Falls. This led to the formation of an umbrella company, named the Vermont Rail System, which owned both railroads, as well as several other shortlines in Vermont and New York.[3]

VTR plans to construct a new 3.3 miles (5.3 km) spur line in Middlebury, Vermont to serve a quarry.[4] In early 2011, the Vermont Rail System created a new subsidiary railroad called the Otter Creek Railroad to purchase land and construct trackage in preparation for construction to begin in early 2013, with a late 2014 completion date.[4]

Traffic[edit]

The Vermont Railway moves a wide variety of freight, as well as playing host to an Amtrak passenger train, the Ethan Allen Express. VTR moves large amounts of stone products from quarries in western Vermont, largely limestone in the form of slurry from OMYA mines north of Rutland. VTR also moves large amounts of petroleum products into Vermont, including unit trains of fuel oil from Albany, New York, to Burlington.[3]

Fleet[edit]

As of April 2013, the Vermont Railway's fleet consisted of:[3]

Number Type Power Manufacturer and date manufactured
201
GP38-2
2,000 hp
EMD, 1972
202
EMD GP38-2
2,000 hp
EMD, 1974
204
EMD GP38
2,000 hp
EMD, unknown build date
205
EMD GP38
2,000 hp
EMD, 1966
206
EMD GP38-3
2,000 hp
EMD, unknown build date
207
EMD GP38-3
2,000 hp
EMD, unknown build date
301
EMD GP40
3,000 hp
EMD, 1966
303
EMD GP40-2
3,000 hp
EMD, 1977
307
EMD GP40-2
3,000 hp
EMD, 1984
308
EMD GP40-2
3,000 hp
EMD, 1977
309
EMD GP40
3,000 hp
EMD, 1966
310
EMD GP40-2WB
3,000 hp
EMD, 1976
311
EMD GP40-2WB
3,000 hp
EMD, 1976
312
EMD Gp40
3,000 hp
Emd,
801
EMD GP18
1,800 hp
EMD, 1961
3801
EMD GP38-3

Former Units[edit]

These units of the Vermont Railway are no longer on the railroad. They units have either have been sold to other railways or have been scrapped for parts. Note: the RS-1 units were from the former Rutland Railway.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vermont Agency of Transportation, Vermont Rail Network, accessed February 2009
  2. ^ Edward A. Lewis, American Shortline Railway Guide, 5th Edition, Kalmbach Publishing, 1996, p. 322
  3. ^ a b c d e f Jones, Robert C. (2006). Vermont Rail System: A Railroad Renaissance. Evergreen Press. ISBN 0-9667264-5-6. 
  4. ^ a b ""Otter Creek Railroad" to Build Middlebury Spur in 2013". Vermont Rail Action Network. 7 February 2011. Archived from the original on 9 April 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2011. 

External links[edit]