The No-Snow Vermonter

For PhotosWindsor|Springfield|New Haven

Over My mid-winter Vacation, I took a short trip up to Windsor, Vermont some relitives. I'm gone from February 15-18, 2005. I took the Vermonter up and back to Windsor that had no snow at all. The train ride up was amazing, we ran into no freight traffic, and the highlight was arriving 22 minutes early into Springfield, MA. This gave me a number of great photo opportunities in the 40 minutes we were stopped. On the way back, I was worried about since we had terrible winds the night before. The ride was fine and on time until we were stuck waiting to get into the switchback at Palmer, Mass where CSX was in the middle of forming a train, we had to wait a ridicules hour and 20 minutes before proceeding. Yet again terrible dispatching by CSX made me late. With the built in recovery time and a switch to electric in New Haven in only 10 minutes we arrived in New York only a half-hour behind schedule.


15 February, 2006: A very early trip going north|18 February, 2005: The trip back, CSX makes us very late


I walk over to 181st Street getting to the station at 10:33 and just missing the A train. This brings back memories of 10 years ago when I and my mom were taking this train and she misread the time. We got to Penn with only seconds to spare, and just made the train. I wait until 10:40 when the A train comes, R44 #5364. It's fairly crowded. We get to Penn Station at 11:03, I'm just too early
I walk of the subway and stand in Lobby near the big board but with my eyes on an arrivals monitor instead, this will tell me the track so I can be first when the Vermonter arrives from D.C. At 11:14 it does and track 16 is listed on the arrivals board, I consider going down stairs but know I need to wait until the proper call is made. I walk over to Track 6 so I can be first. No one else is their except for a few people coming up the stairs. At 11:16 the proper boarding call is made for gate 6 East, I walk over their and am told by an employee to wait a minute. I due and am the front in line, a few people board with redcaps before me. Finally at 11:20 I walk down stairs and board the first car #44956 which is a Metroliner Car with curtains and more legroom. There are footrests but not leg rests. The seats are in the Vermonter set-up, half one-way the rest the other.

The consist of train #56
Ridership just after leaving Stamford

We depart Penn Station 11:31, the conductor comes almost immediately and isn't confused on weather Windsor is station. (This has happened on past trips), but my seat check is punched WRJ-White River Junction, since there is no WNM on it. She says the conductor in Vermont will

1:02-Arrive New Haven
I watch as they take off the electric AEM-7 Locomotive and add a diesel Genesis P42 to each end of the train, guess no more cab cars in use. I get lucky and photograph and Acela train that is stopping. I chat with another passenger about photography. Ask conductor about push-pull. He says they normally use a Control Car, but doesn't know why today it's to engines. I get back on at 1:22, conductor says were waiting for the all clear and that the locomotives are able to fully communicate with one another.
Moving at 1:24, We slowly leave New Haven I can smell the diesel fuel and hear the engine.

2:36-Ar. Springfield-25 minutes early-Springfield is meant to be a service stop of 15 minutes anyway, schedule says Ar. 3:00, but theirs so much padding built-in and since we encountered no traffic along the way were early. I use the time as a Photostop. The Springfield station is situated on a viaduct in the city, it's fairly large with six tracks. I photograph a 2 car Springfield Shuttle that's their on layover, one car is a cab car. Train #55, the Vermonter the other way rolls in 2:55, it is the
At 3:10, I get on a the "All Aboard". The sunset is a real beauty.
3:15-Leave Springfield-Conductors comes around to make a list of where people are detraining, and rewrite the NEC punch seat checks with lettering so finding passengers at the tiny stops will be easier. He sees my seat check that says White River Junction, I tell him its incorrect and that I'm going to Windsor, he corrects it. We leave Springfield running in a fairly industrial area.

6:18-Arrive Windsor, VT I am off the train last stepping onto one of those silly little yellow steps on the platform, my godmother meets me and we go have dinner in the Station House Restaurant, in the old station house. We sit in the area that used to be the old ticket office and is still intact. The food was pretty lousy, the restaurant decorated with railroad memorabilia, some that just didn't fit, like a plaque from the South African Railways.


15 February, 2006: A very early trip going north|18 February, 2005: The trip back, CSX makes us very late


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Last Updated: February 4, 2006
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