St. Johnsbury and Lamoille County Railroad

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The St. Johnsbury and Lamoille County Railroad (StJ&LC) was constructed in the 1870s as the Vermont Division of the Portland and Ogdensburg Railway to connect the Great Lakes with the seaport of Portland, Maine. The westerly connection with the Great Lakes was never made. The eastern end of the Vermont Division was leased to the Maine Central Railroad in 1912, and the remainder of the line became a subsidiary of the Boston and Maine Railroad. The Boston & Maine operated their segment as the St. Johnsbury and Lake Champlain Railroad after 1925. This segment was reorganized as the St. Johnsbury and Lamoille County Railroad in 1948.[1]

Freight traffic was 30% inbound commodities, 20% outbound dairy products to Boston, 15% outbound forest products, and 25% outbound limestone, talc and asbestos. The remaining 10% was bridge line traffic (westbound paper and eastbound feed) for the Maine Central Railroad Mountain Division. Six 70-ton General Electric Diesel locomotives replaced steam locomotives over the line's light rail and covered bridges. Passenger service ended in 1956. Trucks had taken all of the milk traffic by 1961, but bridge line traffic had increased six-fold following the 1953 dissolution of Maine Central's joint operating agreement with Boston and Maine Railroad. Light rail and covered bridges prevented the line from accepting new heavier "incentive" freight car loadings. The covered bridges were replaced or reinforced so worn out light diesel locomotives could be replaced by larger locomotives; but track conditions deteriorated under the heavier loads.[2]

The State of Vermont purchased the line from Samuel Pinsley in 1973. The line was then operated by Morrison-Knudsen as the Vermont Northern Railroad for a time. In 1978, local shippers took over the operation and it became the Lamoille Valley Railroad. In 1989, the line was leased to a Florida company and was operated by them until major flooding in 1995 and 1997 damaged the line so much that it was not profitable to repair the track. In 2002, the state of Vermont started converting the 96 mile route into a recreational trail and created the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail.

Route[edit]

Milepost 0: St. Johnsbury interchange with Maine Central Railroad and Canadian Pacific Railway.[3]

Milepost 1.4: Fairbanks Scales factory[3]

Milepost 11.5: Danville[3]

Milepost 19.7: Walden[4]

Milepost 27.8: Greensboro Bend[4]

Milepost 34.7: Hardwick junction with Hardwick and Woodbury Railroad. 98-foot covered bridge built 1909 over the Lamoille River burned 1959.[5]

Milepost 39: Preserved 90-foot Fisher covered bridge built in 1908 over the Lamoille River was strengthened in 1968 to be the last covered railroad bridge in service.[6]

Milepost 41: Wolcott 120-foot covered bridge built 1909 over the Lamoille River replaced by steel bridge about 1968.[6]

Milepost 48.9: Morrisville was the most important shipping point on the line.[7]

Milepost 51.6: Hyde Park[7]

Milepost 56.4: Johnson Eastern Magnesia Talc[7]

Milepost 64.6: Cambridge Junction with Central Vermont Railroad. 113-foot covered bridge built 1899 over the Lamoille River replaced by steel bridge about 1968.[5]

Milepost 78.4: Fairfield[8]

Milepost 83: Sheldon[8]

Milepost 84.6: Sheldon Junction with Central Vermont Railroad[8]

Milepost 90.9: Highgate[8]

Milepost 94.7: East Swanton junction with Central Vermont Railroad. Three-span 369-foot covered bridge over the Missisquoi River built in 1898 was on the main line between East Swanton and Swanton. It was preserved by routing StJ&LC trains over the Central Vermont Railroad.[9]

Milepost 96.1: Swanton Swanton Lime Works and interchange with Central Vermont Railroad[8]

Locomotives[edit]

NumberBuilderTypeDateWorks numberNotes
11Baldwin Locomotive Works2-6-0190933394ex-Montpelier and Wells River Railroad #11 purchased 1926[10]
21ALCO Manchester0-6-0190946339ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #286 purchased 1947 scrapped 1949[10]
22ALCO Manchester0-6-0190946338ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #285 then Montpelier and Wells River Railroad 2nd #11 purchased 1944[10]
23ALCO Manchester0-6-0190845125ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #272 then Montpelier and Wells River Railroad 2nd #9 purchased 1940 sold 1944[10]
24ALCO Manchester0-6-0190845131ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #278 purchased 1930 scrapped 1949[10]
25ALCO Manchester0-6-0190845118ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #265 purchased 1929 scrapped 1941[10]
26ALCO Manchester2-6-0190638990ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #1419 purchased 1929[10]
1st #27ALCO Manchester2-6-0191047629ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #1485 purchased 1929[10]
2nd #27Baldwin Locomotive Works0-6-0192356033ex-McKeesport Connecting Railroad #27 purchased 1949 scrapped 1955[10]
28ALCO Manchester2-6-0191048961ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #1491 purchased 1929[10]
30Baldwin Locomotive Works0-6-0192438990ex-McKeesport Connecting Railroad #30 purchased 1949 scrapped 1953[10]
31Schenectady Locomotive Works4-6-018995171ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #2040 purchased 1929[10]
32Schenectady Locomotive Works4-6-018984714ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #2035 purchased 1930[10]
33ALCO Schenectady2-8-0190125052ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #2350 purchased 1930 wrecked 1944[10]
34ALCO Schenectady2-8-0191149001ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #2421 purchased 1930[10]
35ALCO Schenectady2-8-0191149007ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #2427 purchased 1930 scrapped 1938[10]
36ALCO Schenectady2-8-0191047648ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #2404 purchased 1932 scrapped 1949[10]
37ALCO Schenectady2-8-0191149005ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #2425 purchased 1932[10]
38ALCO Schenectady2-8-0190225073ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #2357 purchased 1934 wrecked 1944[10]
39ALCO Schenectady2-8-0190225072ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #2356 purchased 1936[10]
40ALCO Schenectady2-8-0191149000ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #2420 then Montpelier and Wells River Railroad #18 purchased 1939[10]
41ALCO Schenectady2-8-0190742843ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #2388 purchased 1946 scrapped 1948[11]
42ALCO Schenectady2-8-0191047645ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #2401 then Montpelier and Wells River Railroad #19 then Barre and Chelsea Railroad #19 purchased 1946[11]
43ALCO Schenectady2-8-0191047656ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #2412 then Barre and Chelsea Railroad #22 purchased 1947[11]
44ALCO Schenectady2-8-0191149003ex-Boston and Maine Railroad #2423 then Montpelier and Wells River Railroad #20 then Barre and Chelsea Railroad #20 purchased 1947[11]
46General Electric70-ton194829297sold Montpelier and Barre Railroad 1973[12]
47General Electric70-ton194829298sold Montpelier and Barre Railroad 1956[12]
48General Electric70-ton194829299sold Montpelier and Barre Railroad 1973[12]
49General Electric70-ton194830022scrapped 1963[12]
50General Electric70-ton194930184sold Montpelier and Barre Railroad 1957[12]
51General Electric70-ton195130844sold Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad 1972[12]
52General Electric70-ton194729087ex-Barre and Chelsea Railroad #13 purchased 1955 sold Montpelier and Barre Railroad 1973[12]
53General Electric70-ton195131168ex-Mississippi Export Railroad #48 purchased 1958 sold 1960[12]
54General Electric70-ton195331724ex-Mississippi Export Railroad #50 purchased 1958 sold Montpelier and Barre Railroad 1973[12]
55General Electric70-ton194930175ex-Lakeside and Marblehead Railroad #11 purchased 1963 sold Montpelier and Barre Railroad 1973[12]
56General Electric44-ton194317929ex-Carnegie-Illinois Steel Company #5 purchased 1965 sold 1966[12]
1st #200General Electric70-ton194729092ex-Unadilla Valley Railroad #200 purchased 1960 scrapped 1965[12]
2nd #200EMDGP9195620973ex-New York Central Railroad #5960 purchased 1967 sold 1973[12]
201EMDGP9195723589ex-New York Central Railroad #6056 purchased 1967 sold 1973[12]
202American Locomotive CompanyRS-3195178937ex-Reading Railroad #523 purchased 1968 sold Montpelier and Barre Railroad 1973[12]
203American Locomotive CompanyRS-3195380498ex-Great Northern Railway #229 purchased 1968 sold Montpelier and Barre Railroad 1973[12]
204American Locomotive CompanyRS-3195078292ex-Lehigh and Hudson River Railroad #4 purchased 1970[12]
205American Locomotive CompanyRS-3195078369ex-Lehigh and Hudson River Railroad #10 purchased 1971 sold Montpelier and Barre Railroad 1973[12]
206American Locomotive CompanyRS-3195280163ex-Delaware and Hudson Railroad #4073 purchased 1972[12]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lewis (1974) pp.6-39
  2. ^ Lewis (1974) pp.39-51
  3. ^ a b c Lewis (1974) p.113
  4. ^ a b Lewis (1974) p.114
  5. ^ a b Lewis (1974) pp.60&115
  6. ^ a b Lewis (1974) p.60
  7. ^ a b c Lewis (1974) p.115
  8. ^ a b c d e Lewis (1974) p.116
  9. ^ Lewis (1974) pp.60&116
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Lewis (1974) p.123
  11. ^ a b c d Lewis (1974) p.124
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Lewis (1974) p.126