Vermont Railway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Vermont Railway
Vermont Railway (logo).png
HeadquartersBurlington, Vermont
Reporting markVTR
LocaleVermont, New Hampshire, and New York
Dates of operation1964 to present (1964 to present)
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

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] The rail line employs about 150 people in Vermont.[2]


The Rutland Railway was the only north-south line through western Vermont. A strike in 1953 precipitated the company's ending passenger service.[3][4] Another strike shut down freight operations on September 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 October 25, 1963, began operations on January 6, 1964.[5] The company's first president was Jay Wulfson, who came from the Middletown and New Jersey Railroad.[6]

During the early years of the Vermont Railway, money was spent replacing old locomotives and rolling stock the railroad had inherited from the Rutland. It bought several locomotives, both new and used. It also leased 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 limestone plant near Florence, Vermont. VTR retained the Clarendon and Pittsford name as a separate legal entity operating the acquired trackage. In the late 1970s several senior officials died, including Wulfson. The railroad grossed more than $2 million in revenues for the first time. Net earnings were about $20,000 a year, which was spent in improving the railroad.[6]

In 1982, VTR repaid the state of Vermont for the trackage the state had 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 Railway 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 rehabilitation project was begun, upgrading the roadbed as well as the track and ties. Since the line was upgraded to higher standards, Whitehall has become a major interchange point between VTR and the D&H (now Canadian Pacific after their acquisition of the D&H).[6] Since 1996, Amtrak's Ethan Allen Express has been operating on the Rutland - Whitehall section.

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.[6]

VTR planned to construct a new 3.3-mile (5.3 km) spur line in Middlebury, Vermont, to serve a quarry.[7] In early 2011, the company 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.[7] The quarry cancelled the project in August 2012 because it was no longer economically viable.[8]


The VRS owns and operates the following rail lines:


The Vermont Railway moves a wide variety of freight, as well as furnishing track 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.[6]

Locomotive fleet[edit]

As of August 2015, the Vermont Railway's fleet consisted of:[6][9]

Number Type Power Manufacturer and date manufactured Notes
201 GP38-2 2,000 hp EMD, 1972
202 EMD GP38-2 2,000 hp EMD, 1974 Washington County Railroad paintwork
203 EMD GP38 2,000 hp EMD, 19xx ex MEC 255
204 EMD GP38 2,000 hp EMD, 1973 Ex CSX 2528 Ex SCL 528
205 EMD GP38 2,000 hp EMD, 1971 Ex CSX 2158 Ex L&N 4028. Carries New York and Ogdensburg Railway logo.
206 EMD GP38-3 2,000 hp EMD, unknown build date
207 EMD GP38-3 2,000 hp EMD, 1969 Ex NS 2718 Ex SOU 2718
303 EMD GP40-2 3,000 hp EMD, 1977 Ex B&M 314
307 EMD GP40-2 3,000 hp EMD, 1984 Ex SSW 7255
308 EMD GP40-2 3,000 hp EMD, 1977 Ex B&M 303
310 EMD GP40-2WB 3,000 hp EMD, 1976 Ex CN 9650
311 EMD GP40-2WB 3,000 hp EMD, 1976 Ex CN 9662
312 EMD MP15 1,500 hp EMD Leased from GATX
316 EMD MP15 1,500 hp EMD Leased from GATX
318 EMD MP15 1,500 hp EMD Leased from GATX
431 EMD SD70M-2 4,300 hp EMD, 2006 Ex-FEC 101
432 EMD SD70M-2 4,300 hp EMD, 2006 Ex-FEC 103
801 EMD GP18 1,800 hp EMD, 1961 Ex TP&W 600
802 EMD GP16 1,600 hp EMD, 19xx Ex xx
9000 EMD SD60 3,800 hp EMD, 1984 Leased from GMTX. Shared with the Providence and Worcester Railroad. On lease to New York Susquehanna and Western Railway as of now.

Former units[edit]

These units of the Vermont Railway are no longer on the railroad. They have either have been sold to other railways or have been scrapped for parts.

Number Type Power Notes
1 44 Ton 380 hp Built by General Electric in April 1946, #28487, as Middletown and New Jersey Railroad 1. It was sold as VTR 1 in 1964 and returned as M&NJ 1 in 1965.
5 EMD SW1 600 hp Built in 1940 as Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad #433. Later sold to Erie Lackawanna Railway as #355. Bought by VTR in 1956 then sold for use in Canada in 1966.
6 ALCO S-4 1000 hp Built in 1953 as Chesapeake and Ohio Railway #5107. Sold to Gulf Oil in the late 1970s.
10 44 Ton 380 hp It was sold as VTR 10 in 1964 and then resold as Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad #10 in 1965. It was later retired and scrapped.
97 2-8-0 Built by Alco-Cooke in 1923, #65188, for planned sale to Cuba. It was sold and shipped on March 5, 1926, to the Birmingham Southern Railroad as #200. It was sold again to Stephen D. Bogen in 1963 and operated as VTR #97 in 1964. It was transferred to the Valley Railroad of Connecticut as #97 in 1970.
301 EMD GP40 3,000 hp Built in 1967 as Atlanta and West Point Railroad as #401. It later became Western Railway of Alabama #401 and became Seaboard System Railroad #401 in January 1983. It was renumbered #6790 in 1984 and became CSX Transportation #6790 in April 1986. It was later sold as VTR #301. In late 2015, it was sold to GMTX as #3010 with four other Vermont Rail System GP40s as deal for FEC SD70M-2s 431/432.
381 EMD GP60 3,800 hp Built by Electro-Motive in May 1990 as Texas Mexican Railway #869. It was sold as Helm Leasing Corp #7700 and resold as VTR 381. It was returned as Helm 7700 in September 2004 and sold to the BNSF Railway as #168 in August 2011.
401 ALCO RS-1 1,000 hp Built in October 1951 as Rutland Railroad #401. It was sold as VTR 401 in January 1964 and resold as Consumers Power Co, no number, in January 1967. It is now at the Saginaw Railway Museum.
402 ALCO RS-1 1,000 hp Built in 1951 as Rutland Railroad #402. It became VTR #402 in 1964. It was sold to the Sabine River and Northern Railroad in June 1972.
403 ALCO RS-1 1,000 hp Built in 1951 as Rutland Railroad #403. It became VTR #403 in 1964. It was sold to the Sabine River and Northern Railroad in June 1972.
404 ALCO RS-1 1,000 hp Built in December 1946 as Duluth South Shore & Atlantic 102. It became Soo Line Railroad #102 in January 1961 and traded in to General Electric in November 1967. It was sold as VTR #404 in April 1968 and resold to Sabine River & Northern 104 in June 1972.
501 EMD SW1500 1,500 hp Built by Electro-Motive in September 1966 and was bought new. It was sold to the Lancaster and Chester Railroad as #95 in May 1996.
601 ALCO RS-3 1,600 hp Built in July 1951 as Lehigh and Hudson River Railway #12. It was sold as VTR #601 in November 1969 and sold to the Batten Kill Railroad in 1984 where it was cannibalized for parts and later scrapped.
603 ALCO RS-3 1,600 hp Built in August 1952 as Delaware and Hudson Railway #4091. It was sold as VTR #603 in March 1972. It was sold as Spencerville & Elgin #603 in 1984 and resold to the Indiana Hi-Rail Corporation as #603 in 1991. It was later sold to the Carrollton-Oneida-Minerva Railroad as #603.
604 ALCO RS-3 1,600 hp Built in 1952 as Delaware and Hudson Railway #4098. It was sold to VTR in April 1972 as #604. It was later returned to the Delaware and Hudson.
605 ALCO RS-3 1,600 hp Built in November 1950 as Lehigh and Hudson River Railway #10. In 1972 it was sold to the St. Johnsbury and Lamoille County Railroad as #205. In 1976 it was sold to VTR as #605, and in 1984 it was sold to Batten Kill Railroad as #605.
602/606 ALCO RS-3 1,600 hp Built in June 1950 as Lehigh and Hudson River Railway #3. It was sold to VTR as #602 in December 1970 and later renumbered 606 in 1979. It was later sold as S&E 606 in 1984 and sold as COM 606. It was scrapped in 2004.
751 EMD GP9 1,750 hp Built in April 1954 as Cleveland Union Terminal #5901. It was sold to Conrail in April 1976 and renumbered #7301. It was sold as VTR #751 in July 1981. Later on, it was sold to the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad #1751 and was later renumbered #58.


  1. ^ Vermont Agency of Transportation, Vermont Rail Network, accessed February 2009
  2. ^ a b Usatch, Brad (November 23, 2016). "Railroading sees a bit of rebirth". The Chronicle. Barton, Vermont. pp. 1A. 27A. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  3. ^ "An Eastern Regional Railroad - 1930's - 1940's, Rutland Railroad"
  4. ^ Lindsell, Robert M. (2000). The Rail Lines of Northern New England. Branch Line Press. pp. 35–46, 175. ISBN 0942147065.
  5. ^ Edward A. Lewis, American Shortline Railway Guide, 5th edition, Kalmbach Publishing, 1996, p. 322
  6. ^ a b c d e f Jones, Robert C. (2006). Vermont Rail System: A Railroad Renaissance. Evergreen Press. ISBN 0-9667264-5-6.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Edwards, Bruce (28 August 2012). "Omya rail spur sidetracked indefinitely". Times Argus. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  9. ^ "Vermont Rail System acquires six-axle EMD power". Trains Magazine. 31 August 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015.

External links[edit]