Green Mountain Railroad is a heritage railroad headquartered in Bellows Falls Vermont. They operate Vermont’s famous Green Mountain Flyer offering train trips that are especially popular each fall season. The rail line is between Bellow Falls and Rutland Vt. It was initially formed in early 1964, operating on tracks originally owned by Rutland Railroad and Boston and Maine Railroad.
Bellows Falls Vermont is a village of 3,165 population at 312’ elevation. The falls is its dominant feature and source of its name, once called ‘the Great Falls.’ Now its less impressive falls is due to diminished flow of a trickle at times due to power demands. The village was named in 1785 for early landowner Colonel Benjamin Bellow. The town hall clock town is prominent against a mountain backdrop.
The falls were used as a fishing spot for the nomadic Abenaki Native Indians, speaking the Algonquian language. They caught salmon and shad for their tribe’s needs.
Bellows Falls Canal was one of America’s first canals built in 1791. It provided a route on the Connecticut River from Barnet VT to Long Island Sound. The canal raised boats up 52 feet using eight locks. It also converted waterpower of the falls to electric power facilitating industrialization of the town. River navigation was later replaced with railroad transportation.
Canal construction required a change in the river direction, which restricted fish traveling up the river. In 1982 Bellows Falls Fish ladder was built, allowing fish unlimited travel as prior to the canal.
Converging of two railroads at Bellows Falls in 1849 was another important step in village development. This led to development of a mill town. It had a woolen textile mill and major products of paper and farm machinery.
Brattleboro a town of 12,049 population is 26 miles south of Bellows Falls. It is at the mouth of the West River next to the Connecticut River. This is the oldest town in the state and known for its active arts community.
Lebanon NH is a city first settled by European colonists here in 1720 has a current population of 25,477. It is 5 miles east of White River Junction VT and 37 miles north of Bellows Falls VT. Lebanon is the original home of the Bethlehem Steel Mill, also credited with the creation of Lebanon Bologna.
White River Junction is a village of 2,286 named from the White River joining the Connecticut River. It had a long history in railroad transportation, providing a junction. Between 1847 and 1863 five different railroad lines passed through the village.
Bellows Falls Vermont is a 5.5 hour drive of 322 miles from Rochester NY. Drive east on I-90 thruway to Albany then route 7 east to Brattleboro and finally US 91 north to Bellows Falls.
Here is a review of a Green Mountain Railroad train ride
“It was a nice trip that I will always remember.”