Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Central Vermont Railway
The Central Vermont Railway was a railroad that operated in the New England states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont as well as the Canadian province of Quebec. It connected Montreal, Quebec with New London, Connecticut using a scenic route along the shores of Lake Champlain, through the Green Mountains and along the Connecticut River valley.
CV traces its history to a variety of predecessor railroads.
- New London, Willimantic, and Springfield Railroad (NLW&S) was built between New London CT to Palmer MA
- Amherst and Belchertown Railroad (A&B), later the Amherst, Belchertown and Palmer Railroad (AB&P) was built from Palmer MA to Miller Falls MA
- Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad (V&M) was built from Millers Falls MA to Brattleboro VT.
- Brattleboro and Whitehall Railroad (B&W)was built between Brattleboro VT and South Londonderry VT (narrow gauge)
- Vermont Central Railway (VC) was built between Windsor VT to Burlington VT
- Vermont and Canada Railroad (V&C) was built from Essex Junction VT to Alburg VT and later Highgate Springs VT , along with a line to Montpelier VT, Barre VT, and Williamstown VT (part may have been built as the Montpelier and White River Railroad (M&WR))
- Burlington and Lamoille Railroad (B&L) was built from Burlington to Cambridge Junction VT
- Missisquoi Railroad (MR) was built from St. Albans VT to Richford VT
- Montreal and Vermont Railroad (M&V) was built from Highgate Springs VT to Saint-Jean QC
- Stanstead, Shefford and Chambly Railroad (SS&C) was built from Saint-Jean QC to Waterloo QC
The VC and V&C systems created an alliance in 1870 to form the Central Vermont Railroad Company (CV). The Consolidated Railroad Company purchased the VC and V&C systems following financial difficulties in 1883, leasing the systems back to the CV for 99 years. The name changed at some point to the Central Vermont Railway Company Incorporated.
On July 12, 1920, the entire GTR system was placed under the control of a "Board of Management" by the federal Department of Railways and Canals in Canada after several years of financial difficulties. After several years of legal battles by GTR shareholders, intent on preventing the federal government from nationalizing the company, the company was nationalized on January 20, 1923 and fully merged into the Crown corporation Canadian National Railways.
Under GTR and later CNR (CN after 1960), the CV system saw many of its unprofitable branch lines abandoned. CN continued to operate the CV as a modestly successful system, however in the process leading up to the privatization of CN, which took place on November 28, 1995, several non-core routes were identified for sale - one of these being the CV.
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