The Rutland Railroad archive is held by Middlebury College’s Special Collections & Archives. The archive contains photographs and other information for about 75 railroads in addition to the Rutland Railroad. Most of the material in the archive has been donated by members of the Rutland Railroad Historical Society. The archive includes a variety of materials: books, periodicals, photographs, maps, timetables, annual reports, legal proceedings, equipment inventories, stock certificates, and newspaper clippings.
Rutland Railroad Historical Note
The predecessor of the Rutland Railroad, the Rutland & Burlington Railroad, was chartered on November 1, 1843 and completed the first railroad in Vermont in December 1849. In 1867 the Rutland Railroad was chartered as the successor to the Rutland & Burlington Railroad. Between 1871 and 1896 the Rutland Railroad was leased to the Central Vermont Railroad and the New York Central Railroad had a controlling interest in the Rutland Railroad from 1904 to 1911. The Rutland Railroad entered receivership in 1938 and was reorganized in 1950. Labor strikes in 1961 led to the abandonment of the railroad in 1963. The State of Vermont purchased much of the right-of-way and much of the trackage is now operated by Vermont Railway.
The railroads opened Vermont’s lumber, dairy, granite, marble and slate industries to large eastern markets and railroads also promoted Vermont as a tourist attraction. The development of interstate highways and the growth of motor vehicle usage contributed to the decline of railroads.