• Looking for Info on Portland and Odgensburg NY aka P&O railroad.

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

  by sextant
 
This week I am explaoring the Lamoille Valley rail trail which goes between Swanton VT and Saint Johnsbury VT and leanred that the route was supposed to part of a transcon main line between Portland and the Great Lakes. I have sinc e learned that the rails are intact to Gilman VT to a abandoned paper mill there and then on ti Littleton NY. I dont know if this line was a complete through route to Ogensburg and was owned by Pinsly short lines. Lamolle Valley was owned bt the state and last freight customer was Abestoses mine in Belevidere VT hardly sustainible. Had it existed today I believe it would have made a great Interodal route as a alternitive to the Class One mono[poly
  by Allouette
 
The P&O west of Swanton Vermont went to the Central Vermont (Swanton - Alburgh), and the Rutland some time around 1900. The Rutland was abandoned north and west of Burlington VT, though the CV's Swanton-East Alburgh segment is still active as New England Central's main line. There are a couple of short remnants in upstate NY, but the main line west of Alburgh was lifted in the 1960s. The St. J &LC (St. Johnsbury & Lake Champlain until 1948, Pinsly-owned St. Johnsbury & Lamoille County after) lasted until 1973. The state of Vermont bought the line in 1973, with Morrison Knudsen operating it as the Vermont Northern to 1978. Local interests took over operation in 1978, operating as the Lamoille Valley Railroad Company until 1995. At some point the connection at Swanton was dropped in favor of operating over CV's Richford sub to St. Albans. Flood damage in 1995 and 1997 resulted in the state's decision not to repair the line, so it was abandoned in sections with little if any post-flood operation.
  by NHV 669
 
Nov, 6 1994 was the last train, running to St. Johnsbury and through to Whitefield with what remained of the LVRC equipment they could move.

The Mountain Division is intact through Whitefield to the active NHCR/CSRX portions north and east, although heavily overgrown in VT, and washed out in multiple spots between St. J and Whitefield.

The line through Littleton was the B&M Berlin Branch, that has now been pulled up to just east of the Bethlehem/Littleton town line.

I couldn't imagine the LVRC being very useful as an IM route, as it's rather curvy and not really a high speed route, and both ends would still involve a carrier who has to interchange with a class I. Then you're simply adding too many carriers to the mix. Plus your first bridge out of St. J was rather low clearance.
  by markhb
 
At the other end, the line was the Maine Central Mountain Division and I believe the line is mostly intact, if unmaintained, through Maine. The easternmost portion is still in use from the CSX (formerly Pan Am) mainline to the Sappi mill in Westbrook, and the State of Maine did a partial restoration job a decade or so ago from the mill to the area of US Route 202.

My understanding is that, before the MEC and the Boston & Maine merged into Guilford, the MEC used the Mountain Division as a bypass of sorts, making a direct connection to the CP in St. J and getting around what would otherwise be the stranglehold the B&M had them in. The division had very little on-line traffic, so it was essentially an expensive express lane to maintain.
  by S1f3432
 
Mountain Subdivision was Maine Central's long haul giving them a larger share of rate
divisions than just handing traffic off to B&M at Rigby. Another piece of the puzzle was
performance/ customer service. In the 60s/70s CP via St. Johnsbury and CN via Danville
Junction were both offering 3rd morning delivery in Chicago at a time B&M/PC might
take three weeks and PC was largely responsible for the death of Aroostook County
potato traffic to the mid-atlantic region- product was spoiling in cars sitting in yards
undelivered. Traffic heading west on the Mountain could also benefit by being routed
via StJ&LC/LVRC as that road chose to stay out of several national rate negotiations
saving customers some money. That's not to say the Mountain wasn't expensive to
operate. MEC had discussed trackage rights over CN to Groveton as well as CN over
MEC into Portland as far back as the 1930's but neither could come to terms. E. Spencer
Miller had a long adversarial relationship and distrust of the B&M which meant keeping
as many options available as he could.
  by jbvb
 
The P&O/Rutland roadbed from Champlain NY (west of Rouse's Point) to Ellenburg NY is fairly close to NY 11. It's mostly out of sight of 11 from there to Malone, where the old station still stands and bridge abutments are visible. West of Malone I'm less sure, as I rarely drive that part of 11. It should be fairly close till Moira, then near a county road to North Lawrence. What it did from there to Norwood isn't clear, as present-day Brasher and Stockholm aren't on the station list. Norwood - Ogdensburg is operated by VTR as the New York & Ogdensburg RR, connecting with the CSX (originally Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg) line to Massena.

Checking that, I found the Montreal - Massena - Syracuse sale to CN fell through, apparently because Syracuse-area shortlines convinced the STB to require CSX to allow interchange with CN someday.
  by NHV 669
 
President of the Maine Central Railroad from 1952- 1/1/1978.
  by markhb
 
jbvb wrote: Sun Nov 13, 2022 12:44 pm The P&O/Rutland roadbed from Champlain NY (west of Rouse's Point) to Ellenburg NY is fairly close to NY 11. It's mostly out of sight of 11 from there to Malone, where the old station still stands and bridge abutments are visible. West of Malone I'm less sure, as I rarely drive that part of 11. It should be fairly close till Moira, then near a county road to North Lawrence. What it did from there to Norwood isn't clear, as present-day Brasher and Stockholm aren't on the station list. Norwood - Ogdensburg is operated by VTR as the New York & Ogdensburg RR, connecting with the CSX (originally Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg) line to Massena.

Checking that, I found the Montreal - Massena - Syracuse sale to CN fell through, apparently because Syracuse-area shortlines convinced the STB to require CSX to allow interchange with CN someday.
If that was the same Portland & Ogdensburg, I didn't realize any was ever built in NY. I take it they just never made it across the lake and Vermont?