Boarding the Granite City Extra in downtown Montpelier.
Photo by Vic Campbell

Granite City Extra

April 4, 2009

Trip Report and Photos by Vic Campbell

Mass Bay RRE' s 75th anniversary trip program got off to a fine start on Saturday, April 4 as over 160 passengers turned out on a grey New England day to ride our two charter specials on the Montpelier & Barre Division of the Washington County Railroad. The two-car train, brought to the state capital earlier for the Vermont Rail System's annual legislative luncheon, was powered by the Green Mountain Railroad's GP-9R 804, which is kept at an engine house in Barre. The train consisted of table car 1312 and coach-observation car 1323. The 2-1/2 hour long trips left Montpelier at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM.

More than half of the sold-out morning trip's 80 seats were filled by passengers who arrived on the motorcoach connection from Boston, Woburn and points north. The bus arrived well before the train's departure, affording passengers the opportunity to photograph the Vermont State Capitol building and other nearby points of interest.

Our train departed from the exact location of the long-since-demolished downtown passenger depot of the Central Vermont Railway. We pulled out three minutes early at 10:57 with all passengers on board. With the 804 on the east and of the train, we first shoved west almost to the bridge over the Dog River. We couldn't get all the way to MP 0.0 and the wye connection with the New England Central because a boxcar used as a "stretcher" when the passenger cars were brought up by the NEC in freight service blocked the way to the junction.

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