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December 20th, 2004
We woke up at 6am in St. Albans hoping to catch the 6:35am Vermonter outbound. We missed it by a hair, and after learning from NECR's friendly AGM that there would be no more trains scheduled until about 13:00, we headed South to Burlington, eventually working our way down the VRS line to Rutland. We then headed to White River Junction to spend the night, finding NECR 324 switching in town shortly after we arrived. They continued switching until well after we went to sleep.
St. Albans, Vermont
(map) CN and NECR (New England Central Railway) meet at St. Albans. Amtrak's Vermonter originates here at 06:35 and returns at 20:45. There is a large yard in the town and the station is sufficiently well lit for readable night shots without a tripod or flash in the winter.
(map) The VRS's line between Rutland and Burlington, Vermont passes through a number of small communities including the town of Ferrisburg, a little bit North of Vergennes.
(map) Called Vermont's rail hub by the Vermont Rail System, this city on the New York border is not a fantastic railfanning spot, though not for a lack of good trains. The main drag through town offers few good locations and the yard, found at the East end of a stretch of track common to 4 VRS lines is not very accessible. Outside of the city there are many nice locations but with only a couple of trains per day, understanding the cryptic clearances is critical. Rutland is not really near anything in Vermont, but is along the Western boarder of the state about an hour North of Massachusetts.
White River Junction, Vermont
(map) One of a few junctions between the NECR and the Vermont Rail Systems roads, White River Junction is an hour North of Brattleboro (by car, anyway). Guilford trains sometimes come as far as White River Junction from Deerfield, Mass.