passenger train station in Rutland serves regular
Amtrak service and the occasional excursion train.
Rutland and New York City on a daily basis. Opened
in 1999, the station is located at the northwest end
of the Rutland Plaza Shopping Center, near the
location of the summer farmers market.
The Amtrak station, which
features an enclosed waiting room but no ticket
office or Quik-Trak kiosk, has been named the "James
M. Jeffords Rail Passenger Welcome Center" to honor
the late Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont.
We watched the train activity
coming and going while waiting for our train to
OMYA tank train.
GMRC 304, GP40, EMD # 36737, built date 2/71.
Local stones next to parking lot.
VTR 311, GP40-21W, GMDD #A3457, built 5/76. 50th
Anniversary painted loco.
VTR 301, gp40, EMD #33098, built 5/67.
This will be the power set for our train today.
after everyone was boarded and settled in, our
train departed Rutland for Burlington and Lake
Departing Rutland, VT. MP. 54.52
Again, saying good-bye to Center Rutland, VT.
Just north of Center Rutland, the railroad
bridges over Highway 4A using a 130-foot long
through plate girder bridge built in 1959.
Happy riders inside my car today, #280
#280 started as Central Railroad of New Jersey
(CNJ) #299, a baggage-coach combine used to
deliver company shipments and newspapers along
its routes. The car was built in 1925 by
Standard Steel Car Co. When retired, it went to
Nelson Blount's Monadnock, Steamtown &
Northern Amusements (8/18/67), and then the
Green Mountain Railroad (3/12/68) as their #280.
It seats 48 in walkover coach seating. The
baggage section in 22 feet long.
Proctor - The town of Proctor was originally
called Sutherland Falls, named after where Otter
Creek tumbles down about 122 feet. The first
marble quarry opened here in 1837, but a lack of
access to markets kept the quarries small and
serving only local needs. However, the railroads
arrived in the early 1850s, and the quarries and
mills were rebuilt and reorganized as the
Sutherland Falls Marble Company. A major change
occurred in 1870 when Redfield Proctor of
Proctorsville came to town to manage the
company. In 1880, Sutherland Falls Marble merged
with the Rutland Marble Company to form the
Vermont Marble Company, with Redfield Proctor
running the company.
The town was incorporated in
1886 and named for Redfield Proctor. For many
years, Proctor was the base of operations for
much of the regional marble industry. The town
was full of mills and the railroads daily hauled
out many carloads of the stone. Marble was so
plentiful that much of the town is built from
it. However, the closing of the marble quarries
in the town in the 1980s and 1990s cost the area
many jobs, and Proctor has struggled much more
than its neighbors. The population of Proctor
was 1,741 aat the 2010 census.
Located in the former Vermont
Marble Company marble manufacturing shed is the
Vermont Marble Museum, founded by the company in
1936. The Museum occupies about half of the
complex, a series of connected factory buildings
extending along the railroad at the center of
64.10 Pittsford -
Pittsford, originally Pitts' Ford, was named
for William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham and
Prime Minister of Britain. He led the
government during the French and Indian War,
and was a supporter of the American position
before the American Revolution. The town was
first settled as a frontier town in 1769.
During the Revolutionary War, American
forces built Fort Mott here in 1777 and Fort
Vengeance in 1780. One of the highlights of
Pittsford is the New England Maple Museum.
65.10 Florence - A siding
here is just a five mile industrial lead to
the biggest customer on the entire Vermont
Rail System. At the end of the track is OMYA
Inc, - Verpol Plant. This plant is large and
manufactures products for the paper, paint
and plastics industries. The plant is
capable of producing dry and slurry
products, and much of it is shipped out in
tank cars, especially a limestone slurry.
Covered hoppers are used for dry pulverized
limestone. We'll get a closer look on
tomorrow's train ride.
A bay window caboose.
Vermont cheese in the works.
Getting ready for the photo runby. Business
with open platform.
It was just past 2 pm when we all got our
first glimpse of the very beautiful Lake
New York State on the far side.
121.4 Burlington Yard - Burlington
Yard is squeezed between Maple St on the
north and Flynn Av on the south. In between
is the former Burlington Yard Drawbridge
which crosses a canal into Lake Champlain.
There was a water station here in 1949.
During the steam days, Burlington was shown
to have two 50,000 gallon water tanks, with
a daily demand of 100,000 gallons.
Today, there is a brick
7-bay roundhouse and turntable to the west.
This facility handles all major locomotive
repairs and inspections for the VRS. Further
to the west are the corporate offices of the
Vermont Rail System, located on the shore of
121.8 Burlington is the
largest city in Vermont and the shire town
of Chittenden County. The actual population
of the city is just less than 50,000, but
the metropolitan area is about one-quarter
million. Burlington's setting on Lake
Champlain has won it many awards, including
one of the prettiest towns in American in
2010 by Forbes magazine and one of
the top four places to "watch" in the United
States in 2007 by AARP. Educational
opportunities abound here. - it is the home
of the University of Vermont, Burlington
College, and Champlain College. For dessert
fans, Ben & Jerry's was founded in
Burlington in a renovated gas station.
Burlington is situated on
the eastern shore of Lake Champlain at an
elevation of 109 feet. Over the years,
Burlington has changed from a transportation
center to a manufacturing center, but like
many northeastern cities, saw a major
decline in manufacturing during the late
1900s. Today, its economy is based upon
education, health services, tourism, and
consumer sales. There is still a limited
amount of manufacturing.
arrival in Burlington should definitely be
qualified, if not awarded, the fickle finger
of fate. The city leaders decided today
would be a good time to paint the bike path
in the city. As the bike path goes by Union
Station, it is also the loading platform for
passenger trains. So on the day the first
passenger train to arrive and use the
platform in nearly three decades was also a
good day to paint the platform. Our arrival
was delayed some to let the paint dry before
the passengers stepped foot on it. After we
arrived we sat for awhile in the cars as the
powers to be decided where we could safely
disembark. While waiting we all saw a worker
drop a big can of paint that resulted in a
huge mess. Green paint on the building walls
and everywhere. That followed with the
entire crew working feverishly to mop and
clean up. Once a dry and safe path was found
we were able to disembark. First I went to
nearby hot dog stand for a dog and drink.
Then it was off to do some exploring of the
for web site. Click back button on your
browser to return to this page.
My first stop was at
ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. There
is a fee to enter the Center but the
restrooms were free. So a quick stop here
then back outside to explore.
here is the Burlington Community Boathouse
with showers available for sailors. There is
also a water front restaurant.
Splash at the Boathouse. A restaurant
with a great view.
Photo of author taken by a kind stranger.
Leaving the waterfront I walked up
College St to see more sites. Units with a
view of the marina a block away.
Burlington Union Station
Continuing east on College St to Battery St
then hanging a right to go south on Battery
St to Main St and then around the corner to
Art work inside station.
Drill baby, drill.
This reminds me of space ships from cartoons of
Instrument panel inside the space craft.
Waiting room inside Union Station.
Our train at rest at the Union Station platform.
Notice the freshly painted green bike path.
Our locomotive power waiting to be connected to
our consist and our trip back to Rutland. We
departed at our scheduled 4 PM time for our return
87.85 Middlebury - Middlebury
was one of a number of New Hampshire Grants
chartered by Colonial Governor Benning
Wentworth, this one on November 2, 1761. At the
time, the French and Indian War was underway and
the area was a scene of constant combat, so
settlement was delayed until 1766 when John
Chipman began clearing land. By the time of the
Revolutionary War, Middlebury had grown to
include several sizeable villages and was one of
the targets of Carleton's Raid. On November 6,
1778, much of the town was burned, but settlers
returned and rebuilt after the war.
The establishment of
Middlebury College in 1800, the first college in
Vermont and today one of the elite liberal arts
colleges in the country, made Middlebury even
more important. By the early 1800's, industries
such as a cotton factory, sawmill, gristmill,
pail factory, paper mill, woolen factory, iron
foundry and marble quarry were located in the
area, and Middlebury was the second largest town
in Vermont in 1830.
From 1821 to 1825, John Deere
apprenticed at an area blacksmith shop. Born in
Rutland in 1804, his parents moved to Middlebury
the next year where he grew up. When hard times
hit the region in the 1830's, Deere decided to
leave his wife and family temporarily and
venture west. In 1836, Deere moved to Grand
Detour, Illinois where in 1837 he built the
world's first steel moldboard plow that led to
the international company that still uses his
in Middlebury is the 118,000 square foot
facility of Connor Homes. Several seasons ago on
the PBS series This Old House
Connor Homes was featured building a new home in
their facility for the show. The show went to
the facility and showed what all is involved in
building a house indoors. This seems to be a
growing trend in new home building. Better
construction indoors and less waste on the job
site. Of course, Sears was selling homes from a
catalog over a hundred years ago. I enjoyed that
season's show and found it to be interesting and
Looking back to end.
Hammond Covered Bridge spanning Otter Creek at 145
feet long. Near Florence, MP 65.10
The bridge is closed to vehicle traffic, but
visitors can walk through it.
60.50 Proctor - This was our
last stop and final photo run by of the day. I
disembarked and was able to take photos of our
train and some of the interesting buildings here
My ride today.
Coach-Combine #280 started as
Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ) #299, a
baggage-coach combine used to deliver company
shipments and newspapers along its routes
Coach #1306 was built by Pressed Steel Car Company
in 1930. It seats 74 in walkover coach seating.
here for Vermont Marble Museum. Click back
button on your browser to return to this page.
These buildings utilize local and plentiful
supplies and materials.
completing our photo runby, we boarded our train
and continued to Rutland. We arrived in Rutland
close to our scheduled arrival time of 8:00PM.
From there Chris and I made a supper stop at KFC
and took it back to the motel room to relax and
get ready for tomorrow's adventure to the large
OMYA mining plant.