Rutland Railway

Caught on film

The section of the Rutland I model is the former Ogdensburg Sub or Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain (OLC). The only surviving section of this line is the 20 mile run from Norwood NY to Ogdensburg NY, which is owned by the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority and run by Rutland successor road, Vermont Railway System.

With operations occurring three times a week, it is hard to catch this elusive railroad in action. That was until yesterday when I photographed VTR's 802 (a GP-18) hauling a single car from the port at Ogdensburg to go back to Norwood. The following photos were taken at the grade crossing on Route 37 on the outskirts of Ogdensburg.


Researching Operations

One of the challenges with modeling a prototype set in 1959 is that it's 2012. I was born 15 years after the Rutland ceased operations and while I am close geographically to where I model, my interest in the line is less than five years old meaning I am playing a lot of catch up.

The "easy" part has been deciding on a segment to model and getting track diagrams. Thanks to the epic works of Robert Nimke, track diagrams, building plans, ICC Valuation Maps, fire plan maps and other valuable material have been collected into a series of books on the Rutland.

The hard part is how to operate it once you have something built. One of the reasons why I chose to model the segment I did was in part because of the New York Central trackage rights over the line. The New York Central, previous owner of the Rutland, operated a number of overhead trains between Norwood and Malone Junction. After the discontinuance of the NYC's Adirondack Subdivision as a through-route, more traffic went via the rights on the Rutland up until the strike in 1961 ended the Rutland. Those trains were Utica-Montreal runs that carried a lot of cars from Canadian roads returning to Canada.

From Internet I have learned that there was more traffic diverted over the Rutland line in the winter when snow was an issue on the Adirondack line, but that only relates to traffic before the Adirondack Line was shuttered.

From what I have seen, in 1959 there was between four and six NYC trains run, UM-1/MU-2 which was a symbol freight. Also run were two to four extras.

As for the Rutland, in 1959 two trains each way were run. A local from Malone to Ogdensburg (MO-1/OM-2) and the Norwood to Rutland overhead train (XJ-1/JX-2). The XJ-1 handed off cars to the NYC at Norwood and picked up blocks of cars from the NYC to run to the connection with CN(CV) at Alburgh, B&M at Bellows Falls, as well as connecting traffic with the St. Johnsbury & Lake Champlain and Maine Central.

The big challenge with all of this is that there has been no comprehensive article written about this. Most of the information is just little snippets. Thus if anyone has more information, please email me.


Back at it – An update

So long story short, it's been a while since I've posted anything on this blog. Very bad of me but I've been busy working on the layout.

This is the current plan, or close to it. I've changed from modelling the portion of the Ogdensburg Sub from Ogdensburg - Norwood, to Norwood - Malone. It's now a continuous loop layout with a double-ended staging yard, and three leads. The New York Central line through Norwood is now fully functioning. The new configuration allows for more operations by modelling the trackage-rights that the NYC had over the Rutland. By making this change I go from modelling 1-2 trains per session to 6-8 trains. Much better for operations.

I've decided to model three towns, although one is mislabeled; North Lawrence is actually Moira.

I will blog more about these changes and also post some photos as I post more updates.

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So much for Lisbon

After mucking around with some scenery in Lisbon to make it "presentable" for photos for an article, I had already decided to clear everything off to be able to move Lisbon down this shelf. Once it was cleared off, I started moving the components around for the track at Norwood, New York. This village has the New York Central crossing the Rutland with an unusual layout for the interchange. Norwood is one of THE most important interchanges on the Rutland, where most of the overhead traffic was passed to the NYC and it was also where NYC had running rights from here to Malone Junction.

I figured that I would need a lot of space (read depth) for this scene thanks to the interchanges. I started with the Crossing in the center, then moving the switches around until I thought I had something lined up, but didn't plan on connecting the dots...

As you can see by the pictures, its built and wired up and took half the width I expected.

I couldn't resist a meetup. Northbound New York Central DM-1(Dewitt-Massena) crosses the diamonds while 207 waits with an eastbound OA-2.

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Comparison Photos

Not completely accurate, but I was just playing around with the camera and a few models.

Lisbon, New York - 1960

Same location, 199? with a borrowed Conrail B23-7.

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10 Minutes

10 Minutes a day... thats what I force myself to do train related on models per day. Force sounds harsh but sometimes with work, family and other things known as life all around, we can't get to the basement and hide for a couple of hours to work on some trains.

I have a bunch of cars, Accurail, Bowser and such that need assembly. Every day I spend 10 minutes working on them. Sometimes it's between meetings, or while supper is on the stove, or late at night before bed. 10 minutes putting couplers on, painting wheels or just fixing the ladder on a PS-1 Box Car you pick up on Ebay for 9 Bucks.

What it's done is help me remember my hobby. If I am getting stressed about work it helps clear that stress, and meanwhile all those little projects are getting done. I just finished a three-pack of Accurail ACF Covered Hoppers, simple assembly but now my 1989 Roster has three more covered hoppers ready for ops.

10 Minutes...


More work on the RS-3 Project

After referencing some photos thanks to the Atlas Forum, Don Janes and the Rutland in Color book, the stack was placed where the old one was. The Miniatures By Eric H-2 Horn and Bracket went in as well. I think I might have placed this a scale inch or two lower than it should be.


Check out the RS-3 Project Page.

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New Atlas RS-3’s Coming Soon

New RS-3's are arriving from Atlas in September. #202 and #207. Atlas did not change the wonky stack shape and the headlight on #202 is wrong. Still it is nice to see more Rutland locos out there.

Now if only Kadee would come out with more PS-1's in Rutland Green and Yellow!

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New Site

Once I have some new photos I will post them about my modelling adventures on the two Rutland era's I model.

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