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Rutland Railroad archive

Identifier: C-117

Scope and Contents

Materials in the collection include records produced by the Rutland Railroad in its various iterations, beginning in 1863. Materials include administrative records, operational records, photographs, and records produced by and information pertaining to individual railroad lines.

Also includes materials produced by the Rutland Railroad Historical Society as well as other collectors of Rutland Railroad memorabilia, including information about annual conventions and field trips, brochures, addresses, several photocopies of various materials including maps, Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, paint diagrams, as well as research materials regarding the history of the Rutland Railroad, and the Rutland Newsliner, the quarterly publication of the Rutland Railroad Historical Society. Note that while individuals operating independent of the Rutland Railroad Historical Society may have produced materials in this series, they are broadly catagorized under the Society.

Note that where possible, a distinction has been made between material actually produced by the Rutland Railroad during its period of operation and that produced and reproduced by the Rutland Railroad Historical Society and other collectors of Rutland Railroad memorabilia.


  • 1851-2012


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish materials, contact: Special Collections & Archives Middlebury College Phone: (802) 443-2387 Email:

Biographical / Historical

Originally a part of the Champlain and Connecticut River Railroad, the Rutland & Burlington Railroad was chartered on November 1, 1843. It completed the first railroad in Vermont in December, 1849, and became the Rutland Railroad in 1867. The Rutland Railroad was leased to the Central Vermont Railroad/Central Vermont Railway between 1871 and 1896. It came briefly under the control of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad, and as well as that of the New York Central Railroad from 1904 to 1911. The Rutland Railroad began expanding in 1898 when shares were bought out by Percival W. Clement.

The Rutland Railroad chartered the Rutland & Canadian Railroad to build north from Burlington, Vermont, to Canada, and to connect the Rutland Railroad with the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain Railroad in Alburgh, Vermont.

The Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain Railroad had been under the control of the Vermont Central Railroad up until that railroad's bankruptcy in 1896. The Rutland Railroad purchased the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain Railroad in 1899.

The Rutland & Noyan Railroad was chartered by the Rutland Railroad to build from Alburgh, Vermont, into Southern Quebec, and to connect with the Quebec Southern Railroad at Noyan, Quebec.

The Addison Railroad was originally chartered in the 1850s. The Rutland & Burlington Railroad later chartered the Addison to build from Leicester Junction, Vermont to Ticonderoga, New York. The line was then leased by the Rutland & Burlington Railroad a period of 99 years, beginning in 1870.

The Chatham & Lebanon Valley Railroad ran from Chatham, New York to Bennington, Vermont. The line was nicknamed "the corkscrew" due to its physical profile. It was purchased by the Rutland Railroad in 1901.

By 1902, the Rutland railroad encompassed 413 miles, running from Ogdensburg, New York to Bellows Falls, Vermont, with lines to Chatham, New York and Montreal, Quebec.

Control of the Rutland Railroad shifted to the New York Central, which then traded half-ownership to the New York, New Haven & Hartford in exchange for half-ownership of the New York, Ontario & Western.

The Rutland Railroad fell into bankruptcy in 1938 and was in receivership for approximately 12 years until the reorganization of the Rutland Railway in 1950.

The Rutland Railway operated until its formal abandonment in 1963, following a period of labor strikes. After the sale of most of its assets, the company was renamed the Rutland Corporation in 1964. The company owned real estate and purchased other companies with funding received from the sale of railroad assets. The Rutland Corporation was purchased in 1968 and was integrated into the Walter Reede Company. The State of Vermont purchased much of the right-of-way and a substantial amount of Rutland Railway trackage is now operated by the Vermont Railway.


102 Boxes


Collection of a wide variety of material relating to the Rutland Railroad, its predecessor the Rutland & Burlington Railroad, and the Central Vermont Railroad and New York Central Railroad, both of which had controlling interest in the Rutland Railroad at different times. Material types include annual reports, blueprints, correspondence, financial records, legal proceedings, ledgers, manuscript material, photographs, and valuation records.


The collection is arranged into five series: I. Administrative records; II. Operational records; III. Railroad lines; IV. Photographs; and V. Rutland railroad historical society.

Within each series, materials are primarily arranged alphabetically by subject, and are roughly chronological when possible.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Rutland Railroad Archives was established in 2001 as a result of collaboration between the library at Middlebury College and members of the Rutland Railroad Historical Society. The following members have donated material to the archives: Bill Badger, Don Boucher, Warren Dodgson, Phil Jordan, Randy LaFramboise, Chris Martin, Steve Mumley, Ralph Notaristefano, and David Saums. In addition, members of the Rutland Railroad Historical Society have established the Heaton L. Bullock Memorial Fund to support the preservation and conservation of material donated to the archives.

Related Materials

View the Vermont Railroads collection via the Internet Archive.

Related Materials

View the Rutland Railroad archive website for additional related information and links.

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Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States