Vermont Railway Centenary

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Vermont Railway Centenary
Posted by Miningman on Monday, June 10, 2019 10:16 PM
 the W.K. Blodgett loco is printed sideways in the magazine https://archive.org/details/rbmsbk_ap2-v4_1948_V02N4/page/n19... see bottom image


 
 
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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 10, 2019 11:12 PM

Wait -- isn't that the famous Pennoyer painting that so delighted Daniel Willard at the end of his life?

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, June 10, 2019 11:48 PM

I do believe that is correct!

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 5:45 AM

Miningman
I do believe that is correct!

Because if so, that's the young Daniel Willard at the throttle.  (The charming story is in the Pennoyer 'autobiography' Locomotives in our Lives.)

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 6:50 AM

The engines in the old lithos are beautiful, but the ones from the 1840s are almost funny.  Vermont Central did have a couple of 4-4-0s that came without cabs, but nothing with a Bury firebox.  The "Crampton" high-driver engine in the celebration picture does have real antecedents in Vermont, where Vermont Central actually tried a "single" around 1851 - ludicrous considering the small number of straightaways and the semi-mountainous profile between White River Jct and Montpelier Jct.  I get to hear traffic on the original VC from my house every day.

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Posted by Fr.Al on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 8:27 AM

I presume you live in Vermont, then? I have nothing against the CV, it's just that I spent ages 4-21 in Western VT. So, I'm a Rutland and B&M fan. CV 2-10-4' S were awesome, besides being New England's largest steam.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 11:20 AM

Those two gents on page 19, Mr. Billings and Governor Page.

Are we sure they aren't really the Smith Brothers of cough drop fame?   Wink

I mean, look at those beards!  

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 11:52 AM

I knew Mike would come through.  I hate to say 'as usual' but it fits when we have miracles every day.

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 12:40 PM

Fr.Al
I presume you live in Vermont, then?

Just across the river. Family vacations in Charlotte got me familiar with the Rutland and Vermont Railway, but I have lived in CV/B&M country for a long time.

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Posted by Fr.Al on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 12:58 PM

Cool. Just as good. I went to school in the Concord area, but that was ages ago. Did you ever see anything of the Claremont and Concord?

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Posted by rcdrye on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 8:25 PM

Flintlock76

Those two gents on page 19, Mr. Billings and Governor Page.

Are we sure they aren't really the Smith Brothers of cough drop fame?   Wink

I mean, look at those beards!  

 

The Smith Brothers (or at least one Mr. J. Gregory Smith) were presidents of the Vermont Central at one time.

 

I rode the west end of the Claremont and Concord on an NRHS excursion around 1991 (there's a YouTube video out there somewhere of the excursion. I'm in the PBNE gondola in a green shirt.).  The rest of it I have followed along NH 103 and other roads.  There are still quite a few stations, some local paths that follow the right-of-way, along with a couple of bridges remaining, including the covered bridge at Contoocook.  Maybe the most interesting artefact is the grade crossing built into the driveway of a mall in Claremont less than 20 years ago, when there were no customers beyond the mall that's still there today.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 8:06 AM

By any chance is this the video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhX7zYNj9ss  

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Posted by Fr.Al on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 11:11 AM

I wish I'd been there, that's all I'll say. Still, I have the steam-operating Everett Railroad 50 miles east of here. Going to ride one of their diesel specials tomorrow. Plus, the Oil Creek & Titusville about 90 miles northwest of here. Life is good.

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Posted by rcdrye on Thursday, June 13, 2019 7:05 AM

Flintlock76

By any chance is this the video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhX7zYNj9ss  

 

Yep, that's it.  I had my then-8-year-old son with me as well.  I can't pick us out of the video (best frame is around 0:33) but I seem to remember being at the end of the car away from the 44-tonner. The main purpose of the excurison was to go over the still-passable sections of the former Claremont Ry. but it did include a run over the "main line" to Claremont Jct.  All of the former C&C track the excursion used is still in use except for the ex C. Ry. track.  The PBNE gondola had more than a few holes in the floor.  The striped 44-tonner in the opening frame was Springfield Terminal's # 1, its only diesel power, replaced by a leased B&M SW1 in the last couple of years of operation.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, June 13, 2019 9:42 AM

Great!  Glad to be of service!

I almost hate to ask, but was that trackage in as bad  shape as it looked?  

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, June 14, 2019 6:27 AM

Flintlock76
I almost hate to ask, but was that trackage in as bad shape as it looked?

The ex-C. Ry. track was pretty bad, but the main line was OK for 10MPH or so.  The same guys who operated the railroad maintained the track, so they were pretty good at fixing the worst of the problems. 

At the time the railroad still handled paper in 50 ft. boxcars from the Claremont Paper Mill at the top of the hill, as well as boxcars and center-beam lumber racks for LaValley Building Supply, at the time the lines owner.  There was also some seasonal road salt handling as well.  (Today's NECR-owned C&C still handles lumber and salt).  The line along NH12/NH103 to West Claremont that continued from the 1991 end-of-track on Union Street lasted until 1986, when one of the single-point switches on the runaround siding at Coy Paper broke.  Coy switched to trucks, and then closed a short time later.  Coy's siding involved about a 9% grade in the street (Plains Rd).  The rail is still there under the pavement, and bits of rail are still there on NH12/NH103 heading into Claremont.

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