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Green Mountain RR - Rutland to Smithville Photo Freight

Adventurers in New England

Chapter Five


Green Mountain Railroad - Rutland to Smithville Photo Freight


Robin Bowers

Text and Photos by Author

June 14, 2015


Part A

    Our first morning in Vermont began shortly after 6:00 AM as we headed for the Day's Inn breakfast room; a cozy room with windows overlooking the front yard. There were the usual breakfast fixings to be had. The most popular spot was the do-it-yourself waffle iron. Of course, I had to make myself one. That and some juice, yogurt and coffee made for my breakfast.

    After breakfast, Chris and I drove to the meeting place to board our train today. We arrived at 6:30 AM and met with several early arrivals. Shuttle buses starting running from the hotel at 6:00AM. Our train will depart Howe Center at Rutland at 7:00 AM.


Visiting and waiting for the train.

The mansard roof style is popular in the area.

     MP 52.48   Rutland - This location is the current Amtrak station in Rutland, based upon the mileposts of the Bellows Falls Subdivision.

     MP 52.0    Howe Scale Avenue - This was the main entrance to the Howe Scale industrial complex.
    The Howe Scale company moved to Rutland at the encouragement of J. B. Page, former Vermont governor and a director of the Rutland & Burlington Railroad. Page was a partner of Nathan T. Sprague, Jr., owner of the Sampson Scale Company, the manufacturer of Howe Scales. After the firm's plant burned down, the company moved much of its manufacturing to this location in 1876. The scale factory was built using the name of Howe Scales. The plant was very successful, and eventually became the Howe Richardson Scale Works, once the largest platform scale manufacturers in the world. At its peak, Howe operated three shifts around the clock, producing up to four million pounds of castings annually and shipping tens of millions of dollars' worth of finished goods, making it the second largest industrial scale maker in the world.

    After the facility closed in 1982, it eventually became the Howe Center, an 18-acre mixed use industrial complex.Howe Center includes 24 buildings and over 300,000 square feet of leasable space. Reports indicate that there are more than 75 different tenants with uses covering the gamut from one-room offices to large manufacturers.

howe buld

loco 405

Our train ride for today. #405 is the sister of #401 which pulled us in Kingston yesterday.
The freight cars are empties which will be drop off in Smithville, VT and we will return with just the passenger cars.


car park

Shortly we will be boarding.


While waiting to board, one of the attendees gave a demonstration of his toy. Cool.

stongs av

In front of the Howe Center looking down Stongs Ave in Rutland, VT


At 7 AM it was time to board our train and depart.

First Photo Runby

    MP.    49.80    Cold River Bridge - This single span through truss bridge was built in 1902 and measures 135' 6" long.

405 a

ALCO 79575 build date 12/51

405 b

405 c

Second Photo Runby

    MP    39.49    East Wallingford -

phpptp line

flash 405

run byy





A former Rutland Railroad section house, built in 1877, has been restored and moved up the tracks about 150 feet to a new location on private property, now part of the Wallingford Historical Society.

end car

Train crossing Vermont 140.


Vermont 140 approaching junction VT 155 at railroad crossing.

Third Photo Runby

    MP    29.74    Okemo Mountain Resort  - To the west is Okemo Mountain. The base of the mountain is at 1,150 feet while the summit is 3,344 feet above sea level. This gives the ski resorts on the mountain the largest vertical drop in southern Vermont at 2,200 feet. There are a number of resort complexes serving the 119 ski trails.
    Okemo Mountain Resort was founded in 1955 by a group of local businessmen, with operations officially beginning on January 31, 1956. The first slopeside lodging opened in1961. Facing bankruptcy, the resort was sold to Tim and Dianne Mueller in 1982. Since then, the resort has been expanded greatly, and the Muellers have also acquired Mount Sunapee Resort in Newbury, New Hampshire, and Mount Crested Butte in Crested Butte, Colorado. In 2008, the Muellers sold their resorts in a lease-back deal valued at over 130 million dollars to CNL Lifestyle Properties.

    This area features the Jackson Gore Inn lodging facility, one of the smaller on the mountain. There are several artificial tunnels and hillsides used to allow skiers to pass safely over the railroad on both the ski trails and a chair lift. For those not from the area, the word "gore" is defined as a "small, usually triangular parcel of land formed by the failures of boundaries to be closed in town surveys." The Jackson area was created from one of these gores, and then expanded over the years.






Flying disc golf target.


Jackson Gore Inn.










Happy riders await the next photo stop.


Fourth Runby

    MP     27.20    Ludlow - In 1949, Ludlow was shown to have a 59-car siding, and was also listed as being a water station. Today, there is a siding to the north measuring 1800 feet long. The former former Rutland Railroad depot, built in 1887, still stands, although its second story is gone after and early fire. The station is located just east of the bridge over Depot Street, and was restored as a part of the 1977 Vermont Bicentennial celebration. The station was built with two waiting rooms, one for men on the south end and another one for ladies on the north end. The station is at an elevation of 1080 feet.
    Today, much of the economic activity at Ludlow relates to the nearby Okemo Mountain Resort, a winter and summer mountain resort.


Ludlow station.

cab car

Car #1317. The car I was riding today.
Coach #1317 is a part of the commuter car order from Pressed Steel Car Company, but a car with an interesting history. #1317 was rebuilt with a control cab on one end to allow push-pull operations. The car bought by Green Mountain in October 1984, and arrived at GMRC with the ends sealed. The end has been opened up and had train doors added for mid-train use. Today, the cab control still works and the car seats 72 in walkover seats.


Waiting for runby to commence.

next door

Next door neighbor.

run aroun

After uncoupling the passenger cars, the empty freight cars are dropped off at MP 25.47 Smithville - at the Imerys Talc America facility. Afterwards, 405 ran around the passengers cars and was now heading in opposite direction. The front became the back.


Depot Road Bridge.

After coupling up the passenger cars, we begin our return trip back to Rutland.


Local countryside.



fire dept

    Our final photo runby was held here in front of the fire house. For this runby I decided to stay on the train to view and get a different prospective of the runby.

    We arrived on time as scheduled at 3 PM.


Another good day spent on a great train adventure. But the day is not finished by a long shot.


 Chapter Six
  Chapter Six - Depots & Covered Bridges

**Return to Chapter Four - Bridge & Catskills**

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