Bellows Falls, VT is located at a still used train junction just south of the train's crossing of the Connecticut River from North Walpole New Hampshire. The stop is technically on a man-created island between the main Connecticut River that goes over Bellows Falls and the Bellows Falls Canal. At the station the train line joins the Vermont Rail System's Green Mountain Railroad to Chester and Rutland Until December 2010 it ran the Green Mountain Flyer on regularly scheduled tourist train service to Chester, Vermont. An increase in freight traffic on that line has discontinued this passenger service (Allison Teague, 'Last Train to Chester: Green Mountain Railroad discontinues scenic rail rides from BF', The Commons, 78 December 1, 2010, Link). The stop first lost service in 1966 from the discontinuation of all passenger service by the Boston and Main Railroad but regained service from Amtrak by the October 1972 (except between 1987 and 1989 when service was replaced by buses due to such deteriorated tracks) schedule with the Montrealer serving the station on an overnight schedule until 1995 between Washington and Montreal. In 1995 it was to be discontinued but the Vermont Agency of Transportation stepped in to fund it and it became a day train cut back to St. Albans. Although the large depot is still opened by a caretaker for the train's departures it is unstaffed and appears to have never had an agent (or checked baggage service) for anyof Amtrak's existance.
The station still has two separate platforms on separate sides of the main depot building (a second building with a similar design but completed in the 1870s as for the Railroad Express Agency serves as the Green Mountain Railroad's main office) so Amtrak trains stop away from the Green Mountain Railroad that also has a small yard at the station. There are signs directly the different passengers to different sides of the depot. The main building is brick with green trim and an almost flat roof. Inside is a large waiting area with wooden benches, an original ticket window, a desk that can book (and accept payment for) Greyhound tickets, which also stops at this location, and walls and shelves full of railway memorabilia, a lot of which is for sale. This all supports keeping the depot open. A historic chalk-board sign from the era of more service has room for Conn. River Trains, Rutland trains, and Cheshire Trains. There is also some tourism information, Amtrak brochures and a second room houses a model train layout. There is also a Thomas Trains table for kids (a really nice touch in a train station).
Photos 1-21 were taken on 21 November, 2011, 22-40 on 20 March, 2012
Last Updated: 30 January, 2012