Saturday, April 2, 2011

Veteran Alco, Leasers Gets Call to Duty on Vermont Rail System

A Vermont Rail System motive power shortage that has been created by a number of units being out of service for a variety of reasons and with a steady traffic level, has necessitated the arrival of more leasers - the GMTX GP38-2 2663 in fresh blue/white paint and the GMTX GP38-2 2189 in UP colors. The addition of these leasers has unfortunately made it more difficult to capture pure Vermont Railway consists - especially when three of the in service VRS units are unpainted GP38-3 205, GP40-2W 311 and GP40-3 312! That said - here are the newest additions to the roster - and one very trying ethanol train!

The GMTX 2663 idles at the Rutland enginehouse on Sunday, March 27. 

LLPX GP38-2 2334 was part of the deal for the trio of long-term leasers and was seen with LLPX GP40 3003 on Sunday, March 27, working the Burlington to Rutland, VT train - BDRD - on the Vermont Rail System's Vermont Railway Northern Main at New Haven, VT. 

And the 666-806B - the last ethanol loaded train for a little while due to weather-related issues in the Upper Midwest - rolls through Chester, VT on March 30, with VTR GP40-2W 311 leading LLPX GP38-2 2334, newly-leased GMTX GP38-2 2189 and the GMRC GP40 304. 

And video footage of the 666-806B...

The good news from this is that the motive power shortage has forced the VRS to reactivate the veteran ex-Rutland Alco RS-1 for freight service several times in recent weeks. On March 30, the Bellows Falls Switcher was blessed with the rugged hauler and was used to retrieve interchange off the New England Central at North Walpole, NH, as well as switch freight out for the westbound 264 train.

The Alco is seen southbound on the NECR Palmer Subdivision mainline at North Walpole, NH, splitting the signals at the Walpole Siding's south end. 

Then at the Bellows Falls Tunnel readying to shove the cut of oil-laden tank cars onto the GMRC and then back for more freight. 

And backing up the GMRC Bellows Falls Runner off the New England Central Railroad's Palmer Subdivision in the immediate foreground. 

On the second trip back with interchange, the Alco is seen rolling south on the NECR Palmer Subdivision across the at-grade diamond crossing with the GMRC Bellows Falls Sub at Bellows Falls. 

And in one of those 'stars aligned' moments - the train is seen along the Connecticut River on the way to Riverside Yard. 20 minutes earlier there were significant shadows directly in the foreground. 20 minutes later and there were shadows everywhere... 

Finally - the Alco RS-1 is backing the train into Riverside Yard for switching in preparation for the 264 train to pick up for westbound movement. 

Kevin Burkholder
White River Jct., VT

1 comment:

  1. Better and better photography; in a neglected geographic area in the USA.