VRS: ALCO #405 Into Winter Service For Customer

While Primary Power Running Flat-Out on PAR Detour Duty, ALCO Excursion Power Comes Out of Hibernation to Serve Local Customer.

19 February, Smithville VT — With the Hoosac detour established and running smoothly, VRS is refocusing on reliable local customer service.


Despite many VRS engines and crews having been shifted to the PAR detour traffic, VRS was able to maintain road train schedules on both the B&R Subdivision (Rutland to Hoosick Jct., NY) and the GMRC Bellows Falls Subdivision (Rutland to Bellows Falls, VT), but had to pull a rabbit out of its hat to maintain its local commitments.


On Weds.19.Feb, an extra crew fired up the GMRC 1951 ALCO RS-1 #405, normally reserved for passenger excursion train service, and put up in winter storage since November. The North Walpole shop crews spent the previous day readying the ALCO to make a customer-requested ‘hot’ run to Imerys Talc in Smithville VT to spot empties and pull loads out for shipping.


Imerys is normally serviced frequently by the GMRC road trains 263/264, running between Rutland and Bellows Falls. Due to the detours, the 263/264 train is not running its normal schedule.


Tuesday’s special priority local extra departed from BF Riverside Yard and headed straight to Ludlow to pick up empties. Then the job headed to Imerys in Smithville, pulled out the loads, spotted the empties, and delivered the loaded cars to the Bellows Falls switcher train DASW, where they were sorted for the next available trains.


The VRS team members did not hesitate to go outside their normal job duties to ensure that customers continued to receive the same level of prompt, personalized service that is offered each and every day by VRS.

GMRC #405 ALCO RS-1 built 1951 was pressed into winter service to switch empties in and loads out of Imerys Talc at Smithfield VT. {Steel Wheels Photography}.
Most VRS power is handling expanded road traffic generated by Hoosac tunnel closure {Steel Wheels Photography}.