• Who controlled Central Vermont? GTW or GTR?

  • 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 Otto Vondrak
I was under the impression that Grand Trunk Western was Canadian National's way to control it's U.S. assets, and that the Central Vermont was in turn controlled by GTW. So the chain of command would go CN -> GTW -> CV. The other day, I had someone tell me I had it all wrong, CV was controlled by the Grand Trunk Railway (the New England lines). I was under the impression that GTR was folded into CN in the 1920s during its bankruptcy and nationalization.

So, what's the correct answer?

  by edbear
Grand Trunk Western was the U. S. extension of the Grand Trunk through Michigan, Indiana & Illinois plus the Lake Michigan carferry operation. Vermont Central and Central Vermont were independently developed and when the time and price were right, the Grand Trunk acquired those properties. Foreign corporations doing business in the U. S. have to have separate corporations that comply with U. S. corporate law, tax, securities and financial regulations. The U. S. railroad subsidiaries of foreign corporations usually bought U. S. manufactured rolling stock to avoid high tariffs either on the purchase price or because foreign built locomotives faced financial penalties if they stayed too long in the USA. U. S. built engines of Canadian National subsidiary companies were moved around from property to property for various reasons. GTW, CV, CN in New England, DWP.
  by S1f3432
The Grand Trunk Railway of Canada gained control of the the Central Vermont Railroad in 1884 ( R&LHS History 147 ) but it
was always a separate company. After the devastating floods of 1927 the railroad was reorganized as the Central Vermont
Railway, Inc. starting February 1, 1930. The GTW was operated as the Western Lines of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada
and was not a separate company- the line in New England was the Eastern Lines, again not a separate company. The Grand
Trunk became part of Canadian National Railways in 1923 and for legal reasons it was decided to retain the Grand Trunk
name for operations it the US and in 1924 the GTW was organized as a separate company in the US controlled by the CN.
Ownership of equipment and movement back and forth across the boarder became complex with issues involving US vs.
Canadian ownership, construction and assignment, customs duties and so on. US owned and constructed locomotives
lettered Grand Trunk on Eastern lines weren't allowed to cross the boarder by Customs after being relettered CN. For this
reason Eastern lines, never a separate company, operated with equipment lettered "Grand Trunk" but owned by and
leased from GTW. As time went by many short term leases of locomotives and equipment from one entity to another were
made as traffic required. In 1971 the Grand Trunk Corporation was set up as an umbrella to hold CV, GTW, DWP and some
other US entities, with the CV being sold to Railtex in 1995.
  by umtrr-author
There's also the data point in any number of ORERs that the CN's US subsidiaries that are NOT the Grand Trunk Western are rather formally referred to as "Grand Trunk Railway System - Lines in the United States, East of the West Bank of the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers." For the New York Central "Track Connections and Junction Points" list in the January 1967 ORER which I pulled at random, this is completed with, "See Canadian National."

(Yeah, George, that's really helpful.)
  by Ridgefielder
The CV was controlled by the GT. The Grand Trunk Corporation was-- and still is-- the formal corporate vehicle by which the Canadian National Railway owns lines in the US. For example, if you dig through the old merger filings you'd find that in 2009 the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern was formally acquired by the Grand Trunk, not Canadian National. The GTW, from a legal standpoint, was a separate US sub from the CV. So the chain went CN -> GT -> CV and CN -> GT -> GTW.

As noted above, control of the CV by the GT long predated the formation of CN. There's quite a lot about this in Larry Lowenthal's Titanic Railroad: The Southern New England.
  by oibu
yes, Ridgefielder lays out the correct corporate structure. Everything in the us including GTW, DWP, CV, GT (NE) was under CN subsidiary GT Corp'
s domain.
  by Engineer Spike
CPR does the same thing. SOO, DM&E, and D&H are separate corporations. I was in a hobby shop once where I knew the owner well. I mentioned that I had resigned BN for a job with D&H. Someone who was present insisted that I worked for CPR. Actually I’m officially a D&H employee. My W2 and BA6 statements prove it. It’s really like saying that a Long Island employee was a PRR employee (pre MTA of course). D&H had a dba, in which it calls itself CPR. It’s fairly certain that GTW, and other existing US subsidiaries do similarly. This way the brand is consistent on both sides of the border.