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.