• Newport VT

  • 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 BobLI
Was in Newport VT and noticed the rail line there splits in town. One goes on a trestle over the lake and one goes straight next to the mall. Is the line going past the mall active and are there any rail customers in Newport. Didn’t see any rail service to the grain mill there.
  by NHV 669
Line on the Left is the CMQ (former CP) up to Richford/Farnham from Wells River, line on the right is the former CP/Quebec Central Beebe Sub up to Sherbrooke. The Beebe spur goes another mile or two up the road past the mall and ends at Columbia Forest Products, north of end of track there was abandoned in 1990. Poulin Grain definitely gets cars, they had several spotted last time I was up there around January. Tanks and covered hoppers.

Did you happen to stop in at the Newport yard at all? That would have been a few miles south of the split you mention. That is where CMQ hands off it's southbound traffic to Vermont Rail System.
  by BobLI
No I was not able to do any rail fanning. Thank you for the information.
  by johnpbarlow
I participated in last weekend's NEREX White River Jct to Newport and return track car convoy and saw there were two cuts of 8 or so misc freight cars in the CMQ-WACR interchange yard. Presumably one cut was the CMQ delivery and the other was the WACR delivery. WACR crew runs 3 days per week south to meet its northbound counterpart at St Johnsbury and then return.

As we rolled south by the Newport yard on the main on Sunday 7/14/19, I was able to capture the CMQ and WACR GP38s laying over until Monday.
CMQ & WACR GP38s Newport 071419 small.jpg
And here is a a capture of an ex-CP caboose - not sure which RR uses this and why.
ex-CP caboose Newport 071419 small.jpg
Here's a capture of roughly half of the 50 participating track cars taken during the lunch break at the Passumpsic River dam at E Barnet.
Track cars E Barnet dam 071419.jpg
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  by BobLI
I saw your track speeders while I was passing through Lyndonville on Sunday morning. Looks like a lot of fun but how expensive is it to get into that hobby?
  by johnpbarlow
These track car trips are indeed a lot of fun - you get to see a lot of scenery and, given a lot of historic rail lines have become short lines you get to travel through Crawford Notch, across Frankenstein Trestle, across the former CP of Maine with Onawa Trestle, etc. As to how expensive it is to get into the hobby, it looks like somewhere in the $5,000 to $10,000 range can get one an operational track car. Plus you'll need a trailer and a car capable of pulling the speeder around. Note that it helps to be mechanically adept and resourceful to maintain the operation of these antiques.

Here's a list of cars for sale on the NARCOA web site:
  by BAR
I am interested in operations in Newport:

Do both CM&Q and VRS both have crews based in Newport?

How many days a week do they operate trains?

What customers are located on the former QC line where we parked the speeders for the night?

Any information appreciated and thanks very much.

  by NHV 669

Yes, John's photos above show normal procedure, VRS usually has a single unit, CMQ may have a couple, depending on whether they run a local or 710 from Farnham/Richford down to Newport.

Service depends on CMQ delivery, which always seems to be unpredictable. VRS may either run 3 or 5 days a week, depending on whether they operate as a pair of daily turn jobs between White River Jct. and Newport, or as 1/2 units running through either north or south. They have done both this year. They will even run light engine between both points.

Columbia Forest Products is the only active shipper on the old QC, at the end of track.
  by johnpbarlow
One other point of RR trivia: the Boston & Maine RR owned the line from the Conn River line to Newport and in 1919 leased the Massawippi Valley Railway to Lennoxville QC (just south of Sherbrooke QC), ie the track where the track cars spent the night. In 1926, when B&M had financial issues, it sold the line north of Wells River to Newport to CP and the line to Lennoxville to Quebec Central (owned by CP).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massawi ... ey_Railway
  by BAR
John and NHV 669,

Thanks very much for the Newport info. Interesting place and I have enjoyed both speeder visits.

John - what percent of speeder operators do you think are railfans? I have come to believe they are in the minority.

NHV 669 - we didn't stop at the yard although I wish we had. We didn't last year either. Lots of reasons why.

  by johnpbarlow
BAR, I agree with your assessment that most track car owners/operators aren't big time rail fans - there isn't a lot of RR chatter among the participants. In some respects, I think NEREX is akin to a club that runs car rallies from point A to point B using antique autos and where participants enjoy dinners and social interaction but probably don't care about sports cars, car racing, etc. Many of the track car operators are accompanied by spouses, children, and other family members who I suspect primarily enjoy the sight-seeing few other people get to see. No regrets - it's a lot of fun spent with some very nice people!
  by BAR

Thanks for your confirming observations on the hobby. When I started riding with my friend on track car excursions I expected to find primarily rail fans as operators but as it turns out most are not. However I still enjoy the excursions and covering rare miles, seeing whatever rail facilities are on line, and any trains that may pass.

All the best.