Sunday 13 November 2011

Vermont and Essex Railroad...

Visiting the Vermont and Essex Railroad 2010...
When entering the layout room the first scene you view is the south end of the CV St. Albans station.

On Oct. 1, 2010, the Friday of the 2010 Central Vermont Railway Historical Society's Convention, a group of approximately 20 members from the US plus a small group from Ontario arrived in East Montreal to view the Vermont and Essex Railroad. From the exterior of the building you have no clue as to the experience that awaits. The first floor has a small hobby shop, all model railroad oriented, with the focus on New England, and Canadian lines. A black spiral stairway leads downstairs to the layout entrance.
A view on the north side of St. Albans station.
The Central Vermont Roundhouse scene in St. Albans, Vermont.

The V&E is a large well detailed layout with a huge workshop including a staging yard, research library room which simulates a baggage room and the (diner car) lunch room which can serve 20-25 guests. Every scene resembles a certain location between St. Albans and Bellows Falls, Vermont. The membership is a small group of 9 members (which is kept small by design). Each member has a specialty which he brings to the process. Some are very experienced in scenery, electrical, and track laying. One member in particular is a graphic artist which brings the whole experience together. His designs of the posters and layout room details are very impressive. Everything is top notch right down to the hardwood flooring we were standing on.

 This layout highlights the Central Vermont Railway. The first scene you see is St. Albans, Italy yard, roundhouse, shops, train station and freight house. The next scene is Essex Junction, featuring the covered station. WRJ station and diamond area are in full view from the B&M trackage. This side of the station is a scene not often modeled. The covered platform found at the south end of the station is also included. Next the granite quarries area emulating Barre is quite a scene to see and lastly Bellows Falls is well underway. The station and B&M freight house are already built. At Bellows Falls there are still a few more structures under construction that are needed to complete the scene.
Viewing the B&M side of the White River Junction station is a interesting approach to modeling the scene.
Don Jane took this close-up photo of the WRJ station which views the details added to complete the scene.

I have not included any photos of Bellows Falls because the scene is not yet finished and the photos I took does not do the layout justice. I left the Barre photos out also to be included in another blog. I took over 100 photos and it is hard to pick a dozen to post here as everything I saw was worth documenting.

All the engines and equipment are accurately detailed. There is a good mix of both freight and passenger consists. DCC is used and all engines viewed include sound.
An overall look at CV Essex Junction, Vermont. Note the clouds...a feature that is more impressive in person. I was told one member is assigned to backdrops...he is doing a great job.
The south end of Essex Jct. covered station as it looked in the 1950`s.
The work room is well stocked and impressive.

After our tour we enjoyed a great French-Canadian meal with wine (both red and white) along with some great videos of CV steam. The V&E group normally went out for dinner after work nights. Constructing the diner came about after it became very costly to dine out so regularly. Now dinner and beverages are prepared on site in a railroad atmosphere.

This is by far the best club layout I have ever seen. It is so historically accurate considering the space allowed for each scene. Our group was treated like royalty, being wined and dined. Something everyone attending will always remember...George Dutka
Here is a view of the lunch that our hosts offered us. That is Don Janes on the right.
This is how the diner car area of the layout looked when we arrived. Tables included red and white wine...when was the last time you visited a layout and was offered this type of service.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    I am a 7th & 8th grade teacher on Team USA at St. Albans City School. We are involved in a variety of projects based in our community. We believe it is extremely powerful when students are involved in real projects that can have an impact in our community.
    We have been approached by a local train enthusiast to build a scale model of the CV Railroad building in St. Albans. I noticed you have pictures of one that has been build already. I am wondering if there is anyone that would be willing to help our group of students take on this task. This could be an active role in helping us build and/or guide us. If there is any interest in taking part in our project, please contact me at