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Bellows Falls Weekend - Page 1

Bellows Falls Weekend

Rail Variety in the Green Mountains

Page 1 of 4

1999 Steve Barry

This section is divided into four pages to provide quick loading

This section was set up on September 16, 1999.

In the southwest corner of Vermont is the town of Bellows Falls. This village has always been a rail center, where the Rutland Railroad crossed theCentral Vermont. Later, Bellows Falls became recognized as the home for Steamtown U.S.A., the largest privately-owned collection of steam locomotives in the country. Today, Vermont Rail System's Green Mountain Railroad operates the former Rutland, while the New England Central operates the old CV. Toss in Amtrak's Vermonter, Guilford freights operating on trackage rights and a major transportation festival, and Bellows Falls can still be a very interesting place. On July 30-31, 1999, here's what was going on around Bellows Falls.

Our busy two days begins on Friday, July 30th. Upon hitting town, the scanner comes to life with the news of a northbound freight on the New England Central. Racing north, we catch the train switching in Claremont, New Hampshire. Before continuing north, NECR 3857 backs onto its train past the Claremont depot .


Back in Bellows Falls, we find the Green Mountain Flyer ready to depart the depot, with Green Mountain RS1 405, lettered for the Rutland and named F. Nelson Blount in honor of Steamtown's founder, in charge.


As the Flyer departs the station, it passes Claremont & Concord 44-Tonner No.30, in town for Transpo 99, a display of railroad equipment held annually in conjunction with Rockingham Old Home Days.


Today's southbound Green Mountain freight has a few surprises! Leading the train is Green Mountain GP9 803 and Vermont Railway GP18 801. Behind these two engines, however, are freshly-painted Green Mountain GP40 302 and Amtrak F40PH 226, both coming to town for Transpo. The colorful consist is seen near Healdville.


After the sun sets we find Vermont Railway 801 and Green Mountain 802 on the GMRC/NECR interchange track at North Walpole, New Hampshire, directly across the Connecticut River from Bellows Falls. Since the freight going to the NECR is heavier than usual, the two Geeps will be interchanged as well so NECR can use them on the grade going up to Brattleboro.


Back at the Bellows Falls depot we find Claremont & Concord 44-Tonner No.30 quietly sleeping the night away (despite the loud rock band playing just a few yards away for Rockingham Old Home Days).


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