In another historic move for the Vermont Rail System, the first Norfolk Southern loaded autorack train detoured via Canadian Pacific from Schenectady, NY to Whitehall, NY (as CP train 961), then was picked up by a VRS crew for the trip to Bellows Falls, VT, via the VRS CLP Mainline and the GMRC Bellows Falls Subdivision. The final leg of the move was handled by a Pan Am crew from Bellows Falls, VT to Gardner, MA, via NECR's Miller's Falls, MA connection with the PAR, using a NECR pilot from Brattleboro to Miller's Falls. The detour is necessitated by the continued outage of the Hoosac Tunnel in western Massachusetts and saw NS gather 5 GP38-2s for the first run. VRS GMRC Bellows Falls Sub can't handle six-axle rigid truck locos and some bridge loading prohibits six-axle radial-trucked locos being paired without 4-axles in between them. The train carried a 27W-28 symbol from Buffalo-Bison Yard to Binghamton on Friday night, before being idled for nearly 24 hours there and becoming 27W-29 for the trip over the detour route to reach the NS Davisville, RI automotive terminal. Performing flawlessly the train moved from Binghamton to Bellows Falls, VT in less than 10.5 hours of total transit time, excluding crew change and a hold for Amtrak at Schenectady, NY. It is seen passing through the iconic Vermont town of Chester Depot, where just two nights earlier I captured one of the PAS detours at exactly the same location with the same setup. This one done at request to show off both sets of detours and composite with the regular VRS trains through the area here. NS 27W-29 with the NS GP38-2 quintet of 5609, 5667, 5666, 5623, and 5663 break the silence of Chester with 65 loaded autoracks in tow.
A continuously growing album of photos that IMHO reveal the awesome and seldom seen beauty of railroads from the dimming of day to dawn's early light! From dusk to dawn, trains roll on! (I'm still finding sunset to sunrise surprises!)