Home News and Features The Meander in the New RR Track is not Forever

The Meander in the New RR Track is not Forever

by J. Gregory Gerdel

With RR signals in place on Barre Street and a temporary tie-in installed across Route 2, granite-laden trains will again be rumbling through Montpelier, multiple days a week, according to Vermont Rail Systems Vice President Seldon Houghton.

Last summer tracks were installed on a long abandoned railbed that runs parallel to Barre Street. Completion of the project was delayed, at least in part, by a shortage of rail ties. Vermont Rail Systems, which owns and operates the line, upgraded the old route to by-pass two bridges that otherwise would require far more expensive repairs to remain in service.

 A temporary tie-in has been installed across Route 2 near the roundabout. Photo by J. Gregory Gerdel.
“We expect to start running trains by late May or early June,” Houghton said in a phone interview. Asked about the somewhat unusual geometry of the track as it approaches the Route 2 crossing near Agway, Houghton said that it is a “temporary tie-in.”

“The State has a roadwork project scheduled there next year, so the track alignment will be corrected at that time,” Houghton said.

Downtown, the city has a contractor completing roadway and bike path upgrades in the empty lot where the tracks cross Main Street, near the Barre Street intersection.