On February 3, 1995, Canadian National Railway’s American affiliate Central Vermont Railway ended operations.
Shortly thereafter, the newly created RailTex short line called New England Central assumed operation of the former CV route. Since that time, New England Central became part of Rail America, which was then acquired by Genesee & Wyoming.
Despite these changes, a few of New England Central’s start-up era GP38s are still on the move in the classy blue and yellow livery.
Although exposed more than 30 years apart. This pair of ‘then and now’ photos at Maple Street in Monson, Massachusetts, helps delineate my appreciation for New England Central and Central Vermont.
It was a clear Spring day; Mike and Tom Danneman and I had departed Waukesha, Wisconsin before sunrise aiming for Rochelle, Illinois where Chicago & North Western crossed Burlington Northern’s C&I Line.
At 7:46 am we photographed our first train, a C&NW eastbound crossing the diamonds at Rochelle. By 10 am we’d caught six trains between the two lines and had worked our way east on BN.
At 10:47, we picked up a Canadian National freight working westbound on BN. At the time CN was routing 4-5 trains each way daily over BN between the Twin Cities and Chicago.
We followed this CN freight led by a pair of General Electric cowl type diesels (model DASH8-40CM numbers 2416 and 2440). At 11:57 am it met an eastward CN freight near Stratford, Illinois.
I was working with two cameras. In my Nikormat FTN I had Fuji Provia 100, and in my Nikon F3T Kodachrome 25.
We continued our chase went toward Savanna, catching this train again at 1:36pm near Burke, Illinois. By the end of the day we’d photographed 21 freights. Not bad for a day out.