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2015 NRHS Convention Rutland Railroad Museum Trip 6/17/2015

by Chris Guenzler

I drove over to the Rutland Railroad Museum in Center Rutland where Bart Jennings, Steve Barry and I had our usual NRHS Safety Meeting. This was my first visit to this newer museum.

The former joint Rutland Railroad and Delaware & Hudson Railroad station built in 1912.

Rutland Railroad Museum

The Rutland Railroad Museum, operated by the Rutland Railway Association, is located in the Center Rutland depot on Depot Lane in Center Rutland, Vermont. The depot building was a joint Rutland Railroad and Delaware & Hudson station, and is located between the Whitehall and Burlington main lines of today's Vermont Rail System. Just to the west of the depot is the former D&H Otter Creek Bridge, another scenic highlight of the area.

The following information about the depot was obtained from a nearby historical maker.

Center Rutland Depot Constructed Circa 1912. The Center Rutland Depot is a classic example of an early 1900's rail station. Built at the junction of the Delaware and Hudson and Rutland Railroads, the depot served the area's passenger and freight customers until the late 1950's.

Today, the depot features displays about the railroads in the area, a library of materials and books, and is also home of the organizations HO and N scale model railroad layouts. Numerous photos and official railroad drawings explain the relationship between the railroads and industries in the area. Outside, the museum is a prime location for photographing the morning and evening trains that serve Rutland from the west and north.

Also outside the station is the former wooden Rutland Railroad caboose 45. This caboose was built in June 1924 as 95, and renumbered as 45 five months later. This caboose was generally assigned to the Ogdensburg Division at the north end of the railroad. For example, during the early 1950s, 45 was reportedly assigned to the Alburgh (VT) to Norwood (NY) freight train. For a wooden caboose, the railroad maintained 45 well, and it operated into the early 1960s on the Alburgh to Rutland freight. Reports also state that it operated on the Vergennes local before being sold to the Vermont Railway as their 3. When new steel cabooses arrived in the 1970s, this caboose was retired and sold to a former conductor and put on display at Leicester Junction.

The Rutland Railway Association is a public organization for railfans of all ages. The Association is an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization and it welcomes donations and/or loans of railroad items, especially pertaining to the Rutland Railroad, Vermont Railway, Green Mountain Railroad, Clarendon & Pittsford and Steamtown.

Our Visit

I went inside the building to start photographing the displays before the group arrived.

These pictures are right inside the front door.

There are many display cases in this museum.

The Rutland Railroad bay window in this station.

The Delaware & Hudson Railroad bay window.

Views inside the Rutland Railroad Museum.

Bart Jennings and Steve Barry talk with the staff about our visit this morning.

More views of the Rutland Railroad Museum. Once finished I went back outside.

The Center Rutland station and Rutland caboose 45 on display but under protective cover.

The Bet-Cha Transit Bus we used to get some of our members to the museum this morning; others would drive. I returned inside to take pictures of the model railroad here.

Views of the model railroads inside the Rutland Railroad Museum.

Musuem staff were running the trains. I went outside and helped direct people where to park then at 7:50 AM we all went to the old road bridge next to the old Clarendon & Pittsford Railroad bridge and waited until we heard the Ethan Allen Express, upon which everyone was quiet.

The Delaware & Hudson Railroad bridge over Otter Creek.

NRHS Members are in a photo line on the old road bridge.

Amtrak's Ethan Allen Express train 290 crossed Otter Creek on the way to New York City this morning.

The rear end of the Center Rutland station.

Two views of the Center Rutland station. We first heard a faint horn so made a photo line and waited. Next came a low rumbling from the north so we knew the train from Omya would be coming by us in a minute or two.

The Vermont Rail Service Omya to Rutland train came through Center Rutland after which I drove over to the waterfall under the Delaware & Hudson bridge.

Grookin Falls on Otter Creek under the Delaware & Hudson Railroad bridge.

The bridge abutments of the old Rutland Railway Light and Power Company across Otter Creek from the Center Rutland station. I drove back over and brought others over to the bridge so they could photograph the falls, after which I returned to the museum. We then heard a horn coming our way and knew another freight train was coming from Rutland.

The crew was putting its train together.

The Vermont Rail Service Rutland to Omya freight train. I stayed until 10:15 AM and Bart let me leave to do the north Vermont Tour that I had planned for today. A special thank you to the Rutland Raiload for having our NRHS convention group this morning.

Click here for Part 2 of this story