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December 24th, 2007
We left my cousin's house in Rutland after a lazy breakfast toward Brattleboro, our destination. We heard GMRC 263 and locomotive 801 that sounded like different trains. We weren't sure until we found 263 with 801 leading fairly far east in Chester, where we waited for them on finding rusty rails. A large cloud bank was rolling in rather suspensefully on this first day of sunlight on our trip. The train took a while to arrive in Chester - we overestimated how far ahead of it we were - and when it did come, it stopped just short of the shot I wanted for the crew to buy lunch in town. After a few minutes delay and some mercy from the clouds, we got our shot and then b-lined it to Brattleboro for our own lunch and seasonal family reunion.
(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.
Chester is on the Green Mountain Railway line between Rutland and Bellows Falls.
GMRC #263 passes Chester station between Rutland and Bellows Falls.