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March 2002 - Page 25

VTR GP40-2 303 was originally B&M 314 and left New England in 1994. It returned four years later when sold by Helm Leasing to the VTR, one of three GP40s types acquired from Helm that year. It has the large fuel tank but lacks dynamic brakes. Note the heavy anticlimber above the pilot. It is working the remnant of the original Clarendon & Pittsford at Florence, VT, on August 23, 2001. Decals: Herald King L-550. Pete Coulombe photo, George Melvin collection operate the 52-mile Bellows Falls Branch of the Rutland Railway (RUT) after the Rutland closed in 1961. The line runs from North Walpole, NH, across the Connecti cut River into Bellows Falls, VT, and then n orthwestward to Rutland. The Vermont R ailway started up the same year on the n orth-south line of the old Rutland from Burlington south through Rutland to Bennington, a total of 131 miles. The Clarendon & Pittsford (CLP) was a shortline west of R utland dating to the 1880s. Owned for years by Vermont Marble Co., it served that industry and interchanged with the Rutland and Delaware & Hudsons branch to Rut land from Whitehall, NY. In 1972, the CLP was almost without business when the VTR started operating it. The VTR acquired the 23-mile D&H branch to Whitehall in 1983 and operates it as the CLP, along with a onemile spur of the original CLP. These shortlines represent a good example of shortlines growing up over a period of time and how their diesel rosters change. The paint schemes used by the GMRC and VTR are based on that of the Rutland. The G reen Mountain uses virtually the same dark green and yellow scheme with a herald very much like that of the old Rutland. The VTR changed the colors to bright red and white and used a logo of its own making but retained the nose stripes from the RUT scheme. The two roads started operations with Alco RS1s left behind by the Rutland, with the GMRC taking unit 405 as its only power and the VTR four of the five other RS1s owned by the RUT. The VTR also briefly operated a GE 44-tonner and an SW1 before buying their first new unit, an SW1500, in 1966. The GMRC initially expanded their roster with three former D&H 1,000-hp Alco switchers. Each decade saw the shortlines retool with bigger and somewhat more modern power. In the 1970s, the VTR bought two new G P38-2s and several used RS3s, retiring the RS1s and smaller switchers. The Green Mountain bought more RS1s and then started slowly acquiring GP9s, one unit every couple years, finally disposing of all their Alcos except for the original Rutland unit, which was kept primarily for their excursion train operation. When the CLP took over the D&H line, the VTR acquired units that were lettered for the CLP in the VTR red and white. The combined CLP/VTR roster got GP9s and two units, a GP18 and an SW1500, from t he TP&W when the Santa Fe took over that road. The decade of the 1990s started with the CLP/VTR graduating to used GP38 types and the GMRC acquiring its last GP9. The decade ended with GP40 types replacing the GP9s and switchers on both the GMRC and VTR. In roughly 35 years in existence, the two shortlines had been through several waves of motive power changes. In the summer of 2001 all three lines, the CLP, GMRC and VTR are operating GP38 and GP40 types along with the single RS1, three remaining GP9s and the GP18 all numbered in a common roster but carrying lettering for the individual roads. The Clarendon & Pittsford has four units, an ex-SCL Tampa Geep (a former GP9 rebuilt to a GP16), a GP38, a GP38-2 and a GP40-2. The latter is numbered 302 and was originally TO&E D-15, built in December 1972 and acquired by the CLP in December 2000. The Green Mountain rosters six units, the original RS1, two GP9s, a GP60 and two GP40s. The GP40s are numbered 302 and 304 and were built for the Baltimore & Ohio in 1971 and bought from Helm Leasing in December 1998. The VTR rosters the pair of GP38-2s bought new, a single GP38, the GP18 and three GP40 types, all from different origins. Unit 301 is a GP40 built in May 1967 as Western of Alabama 701 and was acquired in 1993. Unit 303 is a GP40-2 built as Boston & Maine 314 in December 1977 and bought from Helm in 1998. Also coming on board the following year was GP40 305 originally built as SCL 1606 in May 1967. A total of 16 units are stabled by the three entities comprising the VRS with the GP40 types numbering seven units, the most common type on the line. Next month, the GP40s of the Southern Pacific Lines will be examined.

GMRC GP40 304 is at Chester, VT, on April 25, 1999, four months after its purchase from Helm Atlantic Leasing where is carried number 400. It is still dressed in the Helm colors of dark blue and dark red but with the new road initials and new numbers on the cab and in the numberboards. Its heritage as the former CSXT 6532 and originally B&O 3756 built in January 1971 is given away by the vent cut into the battery box, a common modification on Chessie GP40s. The pilot is also a typical B&O style. It has the large fuel tank and has the class lights blanked out. Decals: None. Jack Armstrong photo

MARCH 2002


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