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Central Vermont Railway Reporting mark: CV

The Central Vermont Railway (CV) was an early American-owned railway built to interconnect the New England states and provide connections to Canada. The railway had a troubled financial history for many years. Following a convoluted set of mergers and bankruptcies, it ended up under Canadian ownership, where it remained until 1995.

Central Vermont logo, early 1900s

The railway began as the Vermont Central Railroad in 1848. By 1849 it was providing service to a number of communities in Vermont. In 1851 Vermont Central then leased another railway, the Vermont and Canada Railroad, which ran north to the Canadian border. The lease see-sawed back and forth after Vermont Central defaulted on its rental payments, eventually ending up back in Vermont Central's hands once again.

The next railway to enter the picture was the Montreal and Vermont Junction which opened sometime in the 1860s. Operated as an extension of Vermont and Canada, it brought the railway further north where it connected to the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) in St. Johns Quebec (now Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu). After leasing the Stanstead, Shefford and Chambly Railroad, service was extended to Waterloo in 1867. The railway then built the Waterloo and Magog Railway which provided service south to Magog. In addition to the Canadian expansion, the railway continued to extend its reach through the New England states during the 1870s.

The Central Vermont Railroad was officially formed in 1884 in order to consolidate the original lease between Vermont Central and Vermont and Canada and settle the outstanding legal actions. In 1896, Central Vermont formed a new railway, the Montreal and Province Line, which provided service to Farnham, Marieville and St. Césaire. Later that same year, Central Vermont went into receivership and everything came crashing to the ground.

The Central Vermont Railroad was eventually picked up by the GTR in 1899 at foreclosure prices. Reorganized as the Central Vermont Railway, it remained in the GTR's hands until 1923 when the GTR was taken over by the newly formed Canadian National Railway (CN).

The CV's troubles finally ended in 1930 when it was reorganized one last time following another period of receivership in 1927. CN was eventually able to turn a modest profit from the railway until 1995 when it was sold to RailTex, later part of RailAmerica.

Now known as the New England Central Railroad, it remains under RailAmerica ownership and continues to operate as a short line throughout the New England states. Service to Quebec has long been discontinued.