NEB&W Guide to Wayfreights as They Might Apply to the NEB&W

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NEB&W Operations Table of Contents
Operations Table of Contents

In trying to write up the operating session, I realized that I know very little about wayfreights, in particular what happened when there was a choice of locals. Specifically, when one train heads northbound from yard 1 to yard 2, and another heads southbound over the same division from yard 2 to 1.

In general, the section north of Saratoga to North Bennington is more or less the Rutland line from Rutland to Bellows Falls, while the section from North Bennington to Alburgh is like the the D&H's section from Whitehall to Rouses Point. Unfortunately, there seems to be very little about the D&H wayfreights, but Bob Nimke has written about what he's been able to find out about the Rutland in his 9-volume series about the road. So here is a capsulation, focusing mostly on the steam-era days:

The Rutland-Bellows Falls Section

As of April 29, 1928, there was No. 126, Rutland to Bellows Falls on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and No. 127 return on the next day, Saturday included. No. 126 left Rutland at 10:45 AM and arrived at Bellows Falls at 1:50 PM. This was the exact time that No. 120, the through train went, suggesting either a typo or No. 126 and No. 120 had been combined. No. 127 left Bellows Falls at 6:55 AM and arrived Rutland 11:30 AM.

In 1960, this section was handled by RD-2 and DR-1, the through trains, since there wasn't enough local traffic to warrant a regular wayfreight, with an occasional extra if needed for the local work. (Why the "D" for Bellows Falls?) The train left Rutland, VT at 8 PM at night (Nov. 20, 1960), and had several milk cars headed for Boston. At two spots they did work which logic would suggest would be handled in the opposite direction. The reason was because of the way the switch faced, with no runaround.

The train got to Bellows Falls just before midnight and had an hour and a half layout awaiting some inbound traffic from the B&M to arrive. The train and same crew returned that night, arriving at Rutland, VT at 5:35 AM. This is the first I've heard about nighttime wayfreight switching.

In Vol. V, Part 2, Nimke has correspondence to indicate that Nos. RD-2 and DR-1 were given the assignment of the local work starting on Sept. 18, 1960. Also in his Vol. II, he mentions the Rutland switcher first trick making up RX-2, the Bellows Falls local. After '46, as operations started winding down, RX-2 was made up by the second trick, 4 PM to midnight.

On the NEB&W, we have all the traffic from this section, plus Proctor, Glens Falls, Saratoga, and points south, so this isn't as bleak, traffic-wise, as the Bellows Falls section was. Of course, the NEB&W might have had a Glens Falls job, which would also serve Saratoga, but this since Glens Falls is off the layout, this would cut one interesting pair of trains (Troy/North Bennington) into two sets of trains that would have little work to do on the layout.

Rutland-Alburgh

Up until the 1920's, there was local freight No. 27 which left Rutland at 7 AM and was supposed to get to Burlington at 12:40 PM. No. 26 left Burlington at 7:30 AM and scheduled to arrive at Rutland at 12:20 PM. There was also the "Island Local", No. 23, which left Burlington at 7:20 AM, arriving Alburgh two hours later. It left Alburgh at 11:20 AM as No. 22 and was due back at Burlington at 1:15 PM, a similar two hour trip. Note that like the NEB&W, at this point Alburgh was the division point, not Burlington (or in our case, Chateaugay). Of course, our island line is at the south end.

In the '30's, these became RB-1, BR-2, BA-1, and AB-2. (Note they use the same number with different letters.) These four trains worked 6 days a week, Sundays off.

Also there was what was called the Proctor Job, which actually ran out to Larrabee's Point, and carried a combine, as it was a mixed train. (Passengers could only ride between the main and Larrabee's Point.) This train was RL-5 and LR-4, the "L" for Larrabee.

This suggests that we could still keep Alburgh as the division, but have Chateaugay make up a local for both the southbound to North Bennington and a northbound off the layout, heading toward Alburgh. This might be a good thing. There doesn't seem to be a way to either have a Proctor job heading out of North Bennington do any real switching to make it fun to operate, nor a way to have a train head out of Vergennes to Larabee's Point.

Rutland-Chatham

As April 29, 1928, there was No. 24, the Rutland-North Bennington local freight, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, returning as No. 25 on the next day, including Saturday. No. 24 left at 6:30 AM and arrived at North Bennington at 10:10 AM. No. 25 left at 7:30 AM and arrived Rutland at 12:35 P.M, thus taking an extra hour and a half, which I guess meant it had more work.

From Rutland to Chatham, back until about 1927, there was No. 2 and No. 5, which operated between Stephentown and Chatham. Nimke didn't mention about north of Stephentown. In '27, Stephentown was closed as a terminal. Nos. 18 and 19 handled the local work between Rutland and Chatham, except that there was a switcher stationed at Bennington, which switched both there and North Bennington. In '35, these were renamed RC-2 and RC-1, when the Rutland changed to symbols instead of numbers for their freights.

RC-2 left Rutland at about 7 AM, handling all the LCL work and most of the inbound loads. (This meant that most loaded cars came onto the system at Rutland, not Chatham or North Bennington.) RC-2 arrived at Chatham at 11 at night, a very long day.

CR-1 switched at Chatham, except for the milk, and left at about 9 AM, arriving Rutland 8 PM. I would assume that CR-1's day actually started at 7, too, and it took about two hours to switch Chatham.

Nimke also said the through trains, Nos. 28/29 would pick up any loads and empties on the Glastenbury track in Bennington (southbound) and northbound cars at North Bennington. (The Glastenbury track was a remnant of the Bennington & Glastenbury that headed east through the mill district of downtown Bennington, as far as I can determine, also known as the Myers track, since it contained a pottery company by that name. What this wasn't was a parallel track in a yard, which is what I would have expected.)