Remembering the Rutland
Rutland PS-1 445 Images - by Scott Whitney
A Rutland PS-1 is Saved! - From Steve Mumley
Strasburg Does It Again - Image & caption by Robert Geiter
West End Report - by Russ Nelson
The X104 is on its way!!! - via Rome Romano & Scott Whitney
The Rutland is One Again! - from Steve Mumley
Field Report: Bennington Branch Revival - by Alden Dreyer
Rutland Combine 255 arrives at her new home - by Don Mooney via Jeff English
Work continues at the Danbury Railway Museum - from Ray Muntz
Rutland 8085 Arrives at DRM - by Mike
Rutland PS-1 No. 445 To Be Preserved at the RRMNE
West End Report
I noticed last October that a section of the Rutland Right-Of-Way between Norwood and
Winthrop (in the town of Stockholm) had gone up for tax sale. I spoke to my county
legislator, and he got the ROW transferred to the town. I have bicycled that part of the
Rutland staying completely on the ROW. Many parts of the Rutland ROW in northern New York
are still used as a ROW by snowmobilers and ATV riders. I have bicycled the railbed from
Norwood to Malone; in some cases pushing my way through brush; in others wading through
beaver pond; and in others climbing over the beaver dam itself. But mostly actually
riding. The few places where the roadbed is completely impassable have been where the
roadbed closely parallels a road, or in towns where people have built on the roadbed (e.g.
in Malone, heavily).
X104 is on its way !!!
As we reported recently via Scott Whitney, Dr. Marvin Kendall of Barnet, Vermont has stepped forward to save ex-Rutland snow plow X104. Now comes word from Rome Romano that a brief report on the move of X104 to East Barnet (featuring images from Scott) can be read on the Railway Preservation News web site. Once on the RyPN home page navigate to the News Brief for March 19th. There is a link there to Scott's images, which are posted in the file section of theYahoo VRS and Rutland group.
A New Report on the Ticonderoga
I have just found out about, and received, a very good report on the Ticonderoga Floating Drawbridge across Lake Champlain to Addison Jct. on the D&H. This was part of the original route proposed (threatened) to bypass the Vermont Central between Burlington and Rouses Pt. on the west side of the lake to make connection with the O&LC. It was prepared in 1995 by the Lake Champlain Basin Program and contains some very good historical facts about the three barges that served the site until its abandonment in 1923 and some additional information on the original concept span at Rouses Pt. It also, details the underwater archeology projects that have located the remains of the first two barges and speculates on what became of the third and last one, that tipped over and finally was the reason to abandon the route.
This interesting and well done publication is available for $ 5.00 from:
Lake Champlain Basin Program
Make checks payable to "NEIWPCC"
The Rutland is One Again!
The Vermont Rail System has just completed purchase of the New York & Ogdensburg Railroad between Norwood and Ogdensburg including the line to Norfolk, the old N&StL. This puts all remaining Rutland tracks back under one ownership. History repeats itself! The final details are being worked out and the VRS should start running trains in Mid March.
Rome Romano and Dick Dermody each wrote to confirm that the wide vision caboose that Tom Matzell spotted in the latest issue of Railroad Model Craftsman is indeed the ex-Rutland No. 50. The RMC in question features a two page article on the new Amtrak station at Guadalupe, California. The van is on display behind the new station and is, of course, from the nearby Santa Maria Valley Railroad, where it wore number 210.
Field Report: Bennington
[Note: the following report was first filed by Alden Dreyer on the B&M list. It is used here with his kind permission for those of us interested in the present status of the former route of the Green Mountain Flyer. -jrd]
On Wednesday morning, 05 December 2001, as the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of changes to the U.S. Railroad Retirement Act that will greatly influence railroading around the world forever, a Guilford Rail Systems crew of about seven men quietly went about their work of installing new switch timbers into the turnout that connects Guilford's Main track at Hoosick Jct., NY with the former 6.81 mile Bennington Branch. Other workers were performing additional duties on the site.
From a purely track status, [Amtrak] trains could easily be running from Rensselaer to North Bennington by the end of this month. Here is what Alden found west to east: The main power switch mentioned above is completely restored and rehabed. A new handthrow turnout has been installed connecting the west end of the siding to the Branch and only awaits a controlling mechanism. A new high dwarf controls movements off the Branch. The ancient signal bridge still stands for whatever reason: perhaps a few of the cables it houses are still hot.
Curiously, the Branch turnout to the dead leg of the wye has been completely replaced with 136 pound Bethlehem steel and is ready for use -- a switch to nowhere as the wye has not been rebuilt and I wouldn't run anything over it except a hirail pickup or an American Standard. However, rebuilding the dead leg and restoring the interlocking at the former Hoosick Jct. East would be a small project and then passenger trains could run directly from Burlington to Boston or New Haven.
The Branch has been rebuilt with ALL new ties, relay 127 pound 1944 welded rail where I inspected, and the few crossings rebuilt. Heavy stone ballast on the shoulders and cribbing is now adequate, but a lift will be needed in the spring to get the tie bottoms out of the cinders.
The 1880 North Bennington Depot is as pristine as ever and a new concrete platform has been built trackside to welcome all comers. The heavy 136 pound Bethlehem connections and running rails contrast greatly with the 90 pound former Rutland steel. The small yard was full of freight cars.
I have heard nothing on when service will start or how the track is coming along north of North Bennington. But the Bennington Branch should soon set a new speed record as the former times of 12 minutes down and 13 up should easily be matched or exceeded once the track has stabilized.
On a related matter, GRS has spread a considerable amount of new shoulder ballast as needed on the West End. The tie job, now badly needed because of increased traffic, has yet to materialize, but we are hoping for 2002.
Rutland Combine 255 arrives at her
Don Mooney filed the following report to the Railway Historical Society of Northern New York on the move of ex-Rutland combine number 255:
This a final report on "Bringing the Combine Home"
On Wednesday, November 28Th, Pete Gores, John Pesarek, Ron Trottier, and Don Mooney traveled to Morristown NJ, to prepare for the trip to NY. We didn't rush to get there, thinking that we would have plenty of time to get things ready on Thursday. We stopped at the HQ of the M&E RR, at Morristown, just to say hello and to settle our storage debt. After a brief conversation with the owner and his GM, we continued on our way to the loading site. It was still early so we thought that we would start taking the tarps off.
We were really anxious to see the car without the tarps for the first time. After a few short minutes we found that the tarps were put on the car with clips, which were easy to remove. We had the car in the daylight in about 30 minutes. What a sight! Even better then we imagined. No real damage from over 25 years under wraps.
There is one cracked window in the coach section, and one broken one in the baggage section. Not bad for a car that had been vandalized several years ago. We were in [such] a great hurry to view the inside of the car, minus the tarps, that all thought of dinner soon vanished. What a view of early railroad transportation. We could just smell the coal smoke and feel the car rock. Well, not exactly, but close.
The windows had plenty of graffiti painted on, and it was decided that we would spend a few hours just cleaning the coach end. The baggage end looks like a disaster area, but we just ignored that mess. By this time, it was starting to get dark. We had to have light if we were going to enjoy the evening cleaning and talking about our treasure. Don had brought along a small generator, just in case, and we found the "plug" for the lights. Of course, they didn't work at first. They haven't been used in so long that the knife switches had corroded and needed cleaning.
After a bit, on came the lights, and the whole gang cheered. Sure was nice just sitting, and discussing how well this car will look on the L&BR. We did manage to get all the windows cleaned, inside and out. We tried to get some of the graffiti off the wood, but found that our efforts removed the finish also. We decided that we would wait until we got home, and contact an expert, before we proceeded. We are lucky in that there is no profanity painted on the walls. After the window detail, it was time to go get some food, and sleep.
On Thursday, we got to the loading area about 7:30, and found that the trucker was already there. What a relief. We felt sure that they would be delayed, and our hope of an early departure would fade.
The air compressor arrived about 8:00 and we set about aligning the jacks for the lift. This turned out to be the easiest part of the job.
By 9:15, we had the car jacked up far enough to remove the trucks, and to place the truck dollies under the end, and lower the car back onto the dollies. Sure was easy with the right equipment. It took the better part of 1.5 hours to get the chains and binders attached. The trucker didn't take any chance on this car coming unhooked. After having done the rear of the car, the rest was easy.
The load was ready to transport around 12:15. Don returned the air compressor, but was delayed slightly returning. Pete delayed the trucker, knowing that Don wanted to see, and take pictures of the car, starting its journey. Finally at 12:30, the car proceeded to the street for the final check and departure. At 12:45, we watched the combine "hit the road". What a sight to see, after all the planning and hard work. Friday, November 30th found us anxiously awaiting word of the location of the trucker. The car had made it to the NY/PA border, and the expected ETA was 11:00 at Carthage.
Next came a call from the driver delivering the trucks. He had broken down on I-81 near Syracuse and couldn't give us a good ETA. Great, here we had a car being delivered in Carthage before the trucks arrived. Space is at a premium at the unloading area and we really needed the trucks on the tracks, in the right orientation, before the car arrived. Nothing to do but wait and hope that all turns out OK. We had a contingency plan that we would jack the car up and place it on cribbing if needed. What a chore that would be.
The car arrived in Carthage at 10AM, well ahead of schedule. Now we had a problem: no trucks and no ETA yet. We proceeded to remove the truck dollies, and wonder what to do next. Finally around 11:30, the other trucker called and said that his ETA would be around 12:30. Now we could really get busy. It took some time to position the car over the rails and get the chains and binders off.
In the meantime, Ron Trottier arrived with his compressor, and we started the jacking procedure. About the time the truck dollies were ready to come out from under the car, the other trucker delivered the rail trucks. The rest was history. The job went smoothly and we had the transporter on the road at 2:00pm.
We spent a couple of hours trying to get a spring assembly back in the proper place, but gave up after a few hours. We'll have to work on this at a later date. The trip from Carthage to Lowville was quite thrilling. GE 44-ton loco #1950 hauled the car at 10 MPH, and the crew enjoyed the ride immensely. We arrived in Lowville at 7:30 PM and quietly "put the car to bed".
The car sure looks good on the engine house lead track. A great end to a once-in-a-lifetime project. We had to leave the car outside, but should be able to get it inside sometime this week. A great "Thanks" go out to the members for their support of this project, and to the many people [who] helped in the loading and unloading of this gem.
Anyone interested in supporting the Railway Historical Society of Northern New York in their efforts to save the 255 should contact Don at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Watch the RHSNNY web site for further news and updates.
Rutland Combine 255 To Be Moved
Ex-Rutland combine No. 255, which was owned by renowned photographer O.
Winston Link, has been donated to the Railway
Historical Society of Northern New York [P.O. Box 317, Croghan, NY 13327]. The group
is planning to move the car from New Jersey, where it has resided for many years, to its
new home in upstate New York. Word is that once relocated to New York the car will be
stored indoors, which is good news for its preservation and (hopefully) its restoration.
Anyone interested in supporting them individually should contact:
Additional information and updates can be found on their website at <www.newyorktrains.com>. Let's hope that the car's Rutland heritage will be preserved by the new owners.
Work continues at the Danbury Railway
Washington Hill Caboose
Confirmed as Rutland Van
I received a short note from Rome Romano confirming that at least one of the two New York Central-style cabooses to be found along the ex-Boston & Albany mainline over Washington Hill in western Massachusetts are indeed of Rutland lineage. I'll let Rome take it from here:
I had the opportunity to stop at Chester, Mass. last week...to look over the Chester Foundation's collection of equipment. According to Dave Pierce, Foundation member who kindly opened up the freight house and caboose, the van is definitely an ex-Rutland caboose, most likely the 32, and came with all the records pertaining to it from the Rutland! While I didn't have the time to peruse the records, I am planning on a return visit. They purchased it from somewhere in Maine along with their 0-4-0T and have restored it [the van] to appear as B&A 1151.
Also, have made contact with the owner of the van at MP131. It too is Rutland but have yet to verify it's original number.
A couple of days later Steve Mumley wrote to fill in some details on #32: The Rutland van in Chester is #32. It sat for years in North Walpole, NH, stored on the GMRC and was the property of Don Robinson. He sold it to the group in Chester.
Ex-Rutland PS-1 Uncovered
Scott Whitney wrote recently to inform us that he has found an ex-Rutland PS-1 boxcar residing on the Washington County Railroad in Barre, Vermont. (No word from Scott on the color of the roof :-). You may already know that the Vermont Rail System, of which Scott is an employee, has been operating the WACR for some time.
I am not the decision maker in relation to this situation, though I am part of the process. I am doing my best to get information out about individual pieces. The situation basically revolves around a problem with storing the stuff at Tobyhanna. We may need to move everything and some of it is in pretty bad shape, as you know. As for the 253, in the note that got plastered all over the internet, I mentioned that parts would be removed before scrapping, including the Baker Heater and the dispatcher's equipment. Also, you may want to note that equipment the park plans to keep at Toby includes the Rutland pile driver [X170].
You are one of the few that had the chance to see firsthand what is at Tobyhanna. As a historian, I would love to sit back and write an article about the reaction of the rail preservation community on this, but I am part of the process, so it gets interesting. Let me know if you have any further questions, and if anyone is complaining I am ignoring the, keep on trying. I am doing my best to keep everyone informed.
Here We Go Again
Apparently Steamtown National Historical Site is preparing to purge itself of many of its unwanted locomotives and rolling stock. Steamtown Historian Pat Mcknight was recently asked to make an accounting of Steamtown's plans for the pieces, most of which are stored off-site at the Tobbyhanna Army Depot. (Mr. McKnight should be familiar to Remembering the Rutland readers; among his contributions to RtR is the NPS draft report on Rutland steel baggage 129). There is nothing revealing in all of this to those of us who have followed the Steamtown saga these past years. All of the listed items are in deplorable condition and many do not fit into the Steamtown vision, and those that arguably do are so far down the road of decay that the cost of restoration is prohibitive.
We'll start off with Pat McKnight's email which has been making the rounds on many of the railroad lists this week, followed by reactions from Rome Romano and Rob Davis.
From: Pat McKnight
Sent: Wednesday, 17 January, 2001 12:45 PM
Subject: Surplus Tobyhanna equipment available?
I have been asked to send you information on the equipment at Tobyhanna. There are thirty-three pieces of equipment out there, three of which belong to another party. Of the remaining thirty pieces, Steamtown has decided to retain ten of them, and scrap another one for its parts to aid in reconstructing a similar one we have at Steamtown. Of the remaining nineteen pieces, there has been expressed interest in seven of them from outside groups. These seven pieces are:
--Boston & Maine Combination Car #2069 (wood, on flat car)
The remaining pieces that remain will probably be scrapped unless a suitable home is
found for them:
Fellow RRHS, RRET, and DRM friends,
Today on Railway Preservation News there was a posting from Rob Davis that follows below. Hopefully this, as with the last time, is just a rumor. If anyone can substantiate this as fact or fiction please inform the rest of us. I would also be interested in which party has expressed interest in the 9194, as it is the very last example of a "virgin" wood NYC type door and a half boxcar.
RRHS/RRET members have found over the past two years that we do not have the resources to acquire, restore and preserve any more pieces than what we have so far (8085, 2762, X578) at the Danbury Railway Museum. While we have come to realize that we (RRHS/RRET/DRM) as a group are incapable of realistically transporting, restoring and preserving the 270, we may have an option this time around.
What I am suggesting is that the RRHS approach the Steamtown-NPS with an offer to help underwrite the restoration and preservation of the remaining Rutland pieces in Scranton. The NEWSLINER Vol.12, #4 stated we currently have 375 members, and what better way to start a "Millennium Project!" If each member were to donate as little as $20 to help preserve the few remaining pieces of the Rutland at Steamtown and DRM, it would be at least $7500 a year. Would the promise of a few thousand dollars a year be enough to convince Steamtown-NPS to preserve our heritage? And here is the hook, are our members willing to forego that extra kit or to put off purchasing a book to help restore these last few pieces of the Rutland? Lest we forget that in addition to the 253 and 9194, Steamtown-NPS still has the X170 and 8050 at Tobyhanna too.
While I am loathe to splitting our limited personal financial resources between Steamtown and DRM preservation efforts, it would be far better than three (four, or more...) museums, or worse, looking at photos of what was once in our grasp.
Unlike two years ago I do not have the luxury of time and energy to follow this up. I implore someone from our group to spearhead this current effort to save the remaining Rutland pieces at the Steamtown-NPS Site.
Ok guys, the call is going out again. An e-mail from Pat McKnight at Steamtown was circulated on the EL mail list. The National Park Service is stepping up efforts to remove unwanted equipment from the storage site at Tobyhanna. This could mean scrapping if the pieces do not find homes. This is a reality that will face all large museums at one time or another. Now is NOT the time to get angry. Now is the time to get into action.
We are just over dealing with the Bellows Falls equipment and word comes that Steamtown
will be scrapping quite a few New England pieces UNLESS a home can be found. My limited
contact with Pat McKinight is that he is a very reasonable person to deal with [ditto -
jrd]. If you have a potential home or need parts, now is the time. If you have museum
connections, or can help spread the word, now is the time.
The depot was built in 1931 and closed September 20, 1960 showing an olive green color. The museum sports a green and yellow color scheme of the 1950s Rutland. The museum is not yet finished but does have several historical items. An open house is scheduled for September 23, 2000 between 1 and 3 PM.The photo above shows the yellow ribbon-cutting during the dedication of the museum. The gentleman on the far right is Rev. Walter Smith, a member of the RRHS. The people holding the ribbon are a combination of committee members and members of the Reynolds family.
The eleven member committee includes Town Supervisor Roger Watters, Sylvia Armstrong, Lisbon Town Historian Terry Fischer, Mark Ginn, Eugene Jones, Stella Nelson, Rev. Walter Smith, Randy Teele, Bruce Wood, Edward Alfonsin (A New RRHS Member) and Patrick Huot.
Donations to help continue this work may be sent to:
The Lisbon Museum Heritage Committee
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Latest Revision Date: 26 May 2003