Rail transportation – both freight and passenger - continues to be vital to the economy of the State and the Region. It is the most efficient mode for transporting bulk commodities and can be a competitive option for other merchandise and passengers. Rail infrastructure in the Region is widespread and outdated; service is available but limited in scope.
Three rail companies serve the Rutland area: Vermont Railway Inc [VTR], its subsidiary the Clarendon and Pittsford Railroad [CLP], and the Green Mountain Railroad Company [GMR]. All are part of the Vermont Railway System, operating on tracks and rights-of-way owned by the State of Vermont except for the Clarendon and Pittsford which owns all of its facilities. All are considered “local” railroads. Rutland is one of the primary nodes in the Vermont Railway, Inc. network. Lines extend north, south, west, and southeast from Rutland to serve the entire southern section of Vermont. Virtually all rail traffic in the Region comes through this central node. With the exception of the CLP, bridge capacities for railroads are limited to railcars with a gross weight of 263,000 pounds; the CLP is rated for 286,000 pounds, the minimum national standard.
The four rail lines serving Western Vermont converge on the Rutland switching yard, and it is here that trains are made up to move goods to multiple destinations across the region and nation. The configuration of the yard makes it difficult to conduct efficient switching operations. Additionally, all trains serving the region must pass through this yard – even those coming in from the east and going north as there is no connecting link outside of the City to accommodate the east-north or south-west movement. The Rutland Railyard, presently functioning at capacity, is technically a reclassifying and holding yard for rail cars. It does not handle transloading and the only commodity that is unloaded is road salt for VTrans and towns. Freight services are currently provided daily on most routes. Amtrak provides daily passenger service between Penn Station in New York City, Albany and Fair Haven and Rutland City via the CLP line.
• Regional Transportation Plan - Chapter 25: Rail