VRS Loads Rock for Highway Reconstruction

October 20, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comments Off 

Having been helped by the Agency of Transportation to rebuild, the railroads are now helping the Agency of Transportation by running stone trains to help rebuild 107 in Bethel. The trains are loaded in the Vermont Rail System yard in Burlington and run by the New England Central Railroad using locomotives from both railroads.

Here’s a link to a really nicely done TV story with some great video footage of the train being loaded, running and unloaded.

According to Kevin Burkholder, writing for Trains Magazine, the Vermont Agency of Transportation “estimates it needs 150,000 cubic yards of rock and material to restore the road and access to homes and businesses that have been inaccessible for two months.”  Rebuilding the road, which was partially washed into the river, was complicated by weight restrictions on bridges that access it.  The rail shuttle solves that issue.  Giant highway building construction trucks pick up the rock directly after it is dumped off the side of the bank in Bethel.

Please note that the operation is not for sightseers!  This is hard hat territory!  Please keep your good sense and your distance.

The rock is taken from the F.W. Whitcomb quarry in Colchester to the Burlington rail yard by the dump trucks of Barrett Trucking, which also delivers rail hauled rock salt in partnership with Vermont Rail System.


Lt. Governor Phil Scott works at Vermont Rail Systems

October 14, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comments Off 

Yesterday, Lt. Governor Phil Scott continued his “Vermont Everyday Jobs” tour, installing new railroad ties along the Clarendon-Pittsford Railroad Line in Rutland.The work was part of a Vermont Rail Systems project called the “Amtrak Get Well Plan.” The upgrades will allow passenger trains to travel at faster speeds, reducing travel time from Rutland to Whitehall, New York. Read more

Vermont Rail System Mostly Restored After Round The Clock Work

September 21, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comments Off 

Vermont Rail System successfully operated trains over the Green Mountain Railroad Division and the Bennington & Rutland Division during this past weekend. This nearly completes the rebuilding and recovery of major segments of our rail system devastated by Hurricane Irene. It has been a remarkable achievement given the extensive damage that occurred to our lines. Their were over 60 large washouts and, moreover, many bridges had significant structural failures.  This exceptional recovery could not have been accomplished without the notable contributions and cooperation by the Vermont Agency of Transportation.  Specifically, we want to thank Trini Brassard, Assistant Director, and Mladen Gagulic, Civil engineer, and all the resident engineers and employees of the Vermont AOT who played a role in helping VRS restore service on our lines.

Likewise, there were a number of construction contractors,  engineers and suppliers who helped rebuild the railroad and we want to thank them also. RJ Corman and its employees provided expertise and outstanding effort helping to reconstruct miles of railroad. In addition to Corman, other contractors and engineers who contributed heavily to the recovery effort were: Engineers Construction Inc., Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., Barrett Trucking Co., Lane Construction, Jacobs Engineering Group, Kubricky Construction Corp., Renold Construction, Shelburne Limestone, Luzenac and others. Our sincere thanks to all of them.

As David Wulfson, President of Vermont Rail System, noted, “Without the help of the Vermont Agency of Transportation, R J Corman, our employees and the other contractors on the Vermont Rail System Recovery Team we would not have been able to restore service as quickly as we have. It was their “can do” spirit of cooperation and 24/7 effort that got us up and running again.”

In light of the above we are happy to report the following updates to our recovery plan:

Rutland, VT to Bellows Falls (NECR interchange) – This line, The Green Mountain Gateway, has been restored to service.  Backlog is being cleared and trains are returning to normal schedule.  Speed restrictions are being lifted as conditions permit.

Rutland, VT to North Bennington, VT and Hoosick Junction, NY (PAS interchange) – This line is now open. Speed restrictions are being lifted as conditions permit.

Montpelier, VT to Barre, VT – Line is in service and can now be accessed via NECR from both the north and the south. NECR has lifted embargos on their line and traffic can route via NECR to the interchange at Montpelier Junction from the south at Bellows Falls  (CPRS) and Palmer, MA (CSXT)  and from the north via East Alburgh (CN) or Burlington (VTR and CPRS).

No other new developments to report at this time. To summarize our current status as previously reported:

Read more

September 17, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comments Off 

First Train Across Bridge 114 in Chester since Irene

We are happy to report the following updates to our recovery plan:
Rutland, VT to Bellows Falls (NECR interchange) – This line was re-opened today, Friday, September 16. An eastbound train departed Rutland at 0900 this morning and arrived at Bellows Falls this afternoon.
A westbound train is operating this evening. Service has been restored on The Green Mountain Gateway between Whitehall, NY (CPR) and Bellows Falls, VT. We have resumed interchanging traffic with NECR at Bellows Falls. There is a backlog of traffic and we will be working to eliminate delays as quickly as possible.Reporting by Ed Fitzgerald

VRS Feed Customers Working Together . . .

August 31, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comments Off 

Attention: Alliance Members In the wake of hurricane Irene, many of our members have suffered loss of power, inventory and equipment. The Northeast Ag and Feed Alliance is offering an online bulletin board, with the help of Facebook, to connect people with needs to those who may be able to assist. Through our website, you can post your needs or offer your assistance to those in need. Just click on the link below, then click on the “like” (thumb up) symbol, then post your needs or offer your assistance.

For those of you who are not Facebook members, you have two options:

1. Join Facebook by following the directions once you click on the “like” icon. The process will take you a few minutes.

2. Send your needs to Sue Kinner at sue@nysta.org and she will post the information on our Facebook page. All members may access the NEAFA Facebook site through our website at www.northeastalliance.com.

Just click: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Northeast-Ag-and-Feed-Alliance/137290086321604?v=wall

then, click the “Like” box and you may then start posting.

Flood Damage Interrupts Vermont Rail System Service

August 29, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comments Off 

Sagging track in Chester shows flood damageTo All Vermont Rail System Customers:

Vermont Rail System along with all railroads in the Northeast US has been severely impacted by Hurricane Irene. We have had numerous washouts across our system and still have many sections underwater. Some bridge structures have also been compromised. Service has been severely curtailed or cancelled today on all line segments. Interline service with our connecting roads has also been cancelled for today. We are still doing a detailed assessment and will be providing regular updates as we complete repairs and we bring service back on line. In addition we are working with our connections to arrange detours where necessary to keep traffic moving. We will also looking at transload options where feasible. If you have any questions please call your VRS representative or our customer service representatives at 1-800-639-3088.

We will be working around the clock over the next several days and as long as it takes to restore service across our system. Our next service bulletin will be provided at approximately 5:00 PM today.

More Pictures of Hurricane Irene Damage

The Ethan Allen “Get Well” Plan

May 27, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comments Off 


Vermont Rail System is investing $750,000 of its own money to improve the track between Rutland and the New York border


  • New York State is investing $2.5 million in track improvements over the next two years
  • Amtrak is working closely with both VRS and New York State on these improvements
  • 12,200 ties will be replaced
  • 8 miles of track will be surfaced in Vermont and New York
  • VRS will be making improvements at 3 crossings in Vermont and New York funds will improve an additional 5 crossings
  • The work in Vermont began in April and will be completed by the end of October 2011
  • Passengers on the Ethan Allen will see a 26% reduction or 18 minutes saved between Rutland and Whitehall

Work is detailed in the documents below:

Project List

Project Details