Vermont's first chartered railroad was the Vermont Central in 1834.
The state's 568 miles of railroad routes consist of mostly short line railroads hauling commodities to their local destinations.
Two Amtrak trains, the Vermonter and the Ethan Allen Express provide passenger service to Washington, D.C. and New York.
Today, the Vermont Rail System is a dynamic organization boasting six affiliates - the Vermont Railway, Clarendon & Pittsford Railroad, Green Mountain Railroad, Washington County Railroad (Montpelier & Barre Division), Washington County Railroad (Connecticut River Division), and the New York & Ogdensburg Railroad.
Currently, the only scenic train rides in Vermont are operated by the Green Mountain Railroad.
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The Green Mountain Railroad opperates three different scenic train rides. The Green Mountain Flyer runs between the 1850's Bellows Falls Union Station and Chester Depot. This scenic train ride excursion offers spectacular views the Brockway Mills Gorge and the crossing of 2 historic covered bridges, as you travel along the Connecticut and Williams Rivers. The Champlain Flyer offers views of the state's two highest mountains as it travels along the shores of Lake Champlain aboard fully restored vintage coaches. The White River Valley Flyer offers panoramic views of the White Mountain foothills as it follows along the Connecticut River between Norwich and White River Junction. Some of the special train rides in season include Easter Bunny Express, Fall Foliage Train, Halloween Train as well as a Santa Train and a Polar Express Train. Directions
The Shelburne Museum features the 1915, 4-6-0 ten wheeler steam locomotive No. 220, that became known as the presidents locomotive for pulling various presidential trains until 1956. Also, the private rail car Grand Isle, built around 1890, is on display featuring luxury mohagany-paneled parlor, dinning and staterooms. The 1890's Shelburne Railroad Station exhibits a stationmaster's office, waiting rooms for men and women, telegraphy systems, maps, and other late 19th- and early 20th-century railroad memorabilia. Historic buildings as well as the restored 220-foot steamboat Ticonderoga and art are also on display.
The New England Transportation Institute and Museum, located at the Amtrak passenger station in downtown White River Junction, celebrates the Upper Valley's rich storehouse of river, rail, and air history. The icon of White River Junction, the newly renovated Boston & Maine engine No 494, is gleaming bright and is the center of the railroad exhibit. Museum also includes many antique rail pieces, modern rail crossing lights and a tri signal. Directions.