An Eastern regional Railroad of the 1930's - 1940's
Central Vermont Railway


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CV 1933
Central Vermont
June 23, 1933


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Central Vermont Railway (CV) was a railroad that operated in the New England states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, as well as the Canadian province of Quebec. It connected Montreal, Quebec, with New London, Connecticut, using a route along the shores of Lake Champlain, through the Green Mountains and along the Connecticut River valley, as well as Montreal to Boston, Massachusetts, through a connection with the Boston and Maine Railroad at White River Junction, Vermont.(wik), and to New York City and Washington DC with connections to the B&M, New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroads.(rp)
During the heyday of passenger rail travel and up into the 30's and 40's the Central Vermont was a major player in the Montreal-Boston and the Montreal-New York-Washington passenger train scene. From Montreal the Canadian National brought the trains to St. Johns, Quebec where the CV picked them up for the trip through Quebec and Northern Vermont to White River Jct. The the Boston and Maine carried the trains to Boston, and/or to the New York Central at Springfield for the trip to New York City, The Pennsylvania continued the Washington bound trains. The "Washingtonian" and the "Montrealer" were the Washington-Montreal main trains with sleepers, diners, parlor cars and coaches. The Montreal-Boston sleepers were the "Ambassador" and the
CV 1941 Central Vermont
September 28, 1941
"New Englander". The "Vermonter" was another name train between St. Albans, and White River Jct., Vermont. It carried a sleeper to New York handled on the other New York trains from White River Jct. The CV also ran passenger trains from Brattleboro, Vermont on its main south of White River Jct. to New London, Connecticut.

Timeline of the Central Vermont Railway

1843 -The Vermont Central Railroad (VC) was chartered October 31 to build a line across the center of Vermont, running from Burlington on Lake Champlain east to Montpelier, and then southeast and south to Windsor on the Connecticut River. Initial plans had the main line running through Montpelier. However, due to the difficulty of building through the Williamstown Gulf, a narrow valley south of Barre, Vermont, and to land interests of Charles Paine in Northfield, Vermont, a course to the west was selected, leaving the state capital to be serviced by a short branch line.
1845 - Construction of the VC began on December 15.
1845 - The Vermont and Canada Railroad (V&CR) was chartered October 31 as a continuation of the Vermont Central north and west to Rouses Point, New York, splitting at Essex Junction (east of Burlington) and running north via St. Albans and Swanton. A branch split at Swanton and ran north to the border with Canada.
1848 - The first section of the VC, from White River Junction west to Bethel, opened on June 26, to Roxbury on September 17, and to Northfield on October 10.
1849 - The part along the Connecticut River from Hartford south to Windsor opened on February 13.
1849 - VC opened to Montpelier (including the branch from Montpelier Junction) on June 20, to Middlesex on August 30, Waterbury on September 29, and Burlington on December 31.
1849 - On August 24 the Vermont Central leased the Vermont and Canada.
1851 - V&CR is completed.
1852 - VC defaulted on rental payments, and the Vermont and Canada returned to its original owners on June 28.
post 1852 - CV lease of VC&R is reinstated.
1860 - The Montreal and Vermont Junction Railway is chartered.
1860's - M&VJ opened extending the Vermont and Canada's branch from the national border north to St. Johns, Quebec on the Grand Trunk Railway's Montreal and Champlain Railroad. From opening it was operated as an extension of the Vermont and Canada.
cir 1860's - The Sullivan County Railroad continued south from Windsor to Bellows Falls, where it met the Cheshire Railroad towards Boston. At first it was operated by the Central Vermont, but later the Boston and Maine Railroad gained control of it, giving trackage rights to the Central Vermont.
cir 1860's -The Vermont Valley Railroad, running south from Bellows Falls to the New London Northern Railroad in Brattleboro, was originally owned by the Rutland Railroad and later by the B&M.
1867 - The Vermont Central leased the Stanstead, Shefford and Chambly Railroad, running east from St. Johns to Waterloo. The Waterloo and Magog Railway was later built as an extension from Waterloo south to Magog.
1867 - The Missisquoi Railroad is chartered as an independent entity.
1870 - The Vermont Central leased the Ogdensburgh and Lake Champlain Railroad on March 1 extending its line from Rouses Point west to Ogdensburg.
1871 - On January 1 the Vermont Central leased the Rutland Railroad system, giving it routes from Burlington to Bellows Falls and Chatham, New York.
1871 -The New London Northern Railroad was leased on December 1.
1872 - On November 2 the VC name was changed to the Central Vermont Railroad (CV).
1873 - The CV leased the Missisquoi Railroad in July providing a branch from St. Albans northeast to Richford.
1876 -The Montpelier and White River Railroad opened in 1876 and was leased to the Central Vermont, running from the end of the Montpelier Branch south to and beyond Barre.
1877 - The Connecticut and Passumpsic Rivers Railroad takes control of Missisquoi Railroad on November 15.
1884 - The Consolidated Railway was formed on June 30 to consolidate the Central Vermont and Vermont and Canada and to settle litigation between the two companies. A new Central Vermont Railroad was formed on July 1 to take over from the Consolidated Railway.
1886 - Missisquoi is reorganized as the Missisqoui Valley Railway and again leased to the CV.
1889 - the Burlington and Lamoille Railroad was reorganized as the Burlington and Lamoille Valley Railroad and leased by the Central Vermont. This provided a branch from Essex Junction to the Lamoille Valley Railroad at Cambridge Junction in Cambridge, Vermont, and a quickly-abandoned redundant line from Essex Junction west to Burlington. This second connection crossed the Winooski River near Essex Junction and connected to the Rutland Railroad at the south end of Burlington near the present day terminus of I-189.
1896 - The Montreal and Province Line Railway was formed as a reorganization of the Montreal, Portland and Boston Railroad. Originally planned as a branch of the Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad to Montreal, and operated by the Connecticutt and Passumpsic Rivers Railroad, it was taken over by the Central Vermont upon reorganization. The main line ran from the Grand Trunk Railway's Montreal and Champlain Railroad at Saint-Lambert, across
the St. Lawrence River from Montreal, southeast to Farnham on the Stanstead, Shefford and Chambly Railroad, with an extension continuing southeast to Frelighsburg. A branch went east from Mariesville to St. Cesarie.
1896 - The Central Vermont entered receivership, and the Rutland Railroad was separated. The Grand Trunk Railway bought the bankrupt company on March 20.
1898 - The Ogdensburgh and Lake Champlain Railroad lease ended.
1899 - The Central Vermont Railroad was sold at foreclosure on March 21 and was reorganized as the Central Vermont Railway on May 1. During this process, on April 15 it purchased the Missisquoi Valley Railroad outright.
1901 - O&LC leased by the Rutland.
1920 - On July 12 the entire Grand Trunk system was placed under the control of a "Board of Management" by the federal Department of Railways and Canals in Canada after several years of financial difficulties.
1923 - On January 23 the GTS is fully merged into the Crown corporation Canadian National Railway.
CN and NECR-present
1927 - On December 12, 1927 the Central Vermont Railway entered receivership again.
1930 - CV is reorganized January 31 to form a new company of the same name.
post 1930 - Under the Grand Trunk and later the Canadian National, the Central Vermont system saw many of its unprofitable branch lines abandoned. The CN continued to operate the CV as a modestly successful system, however in the process leading up to the privatization of the CN, which took place on November 28, 1995, several non-core routes were identified for sale - one of these being the CV.
1995 - On February 3 the CN sold the CV mainline from New London, Connecticut, to East Alburg, Vermont, to short line operating company RailTex, which renamed the property New England Central Railroad and continued to operate the line much as before.
2000 - On February 4 RailTex was merged into RailAmerica. Operations have continued to present as before.
CVmapC Central Vermont map - 1941

Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- Various editions

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Copyright Richard Parks, April23, 2009