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Vermont Rail System Commemorates its 50th Anniversary with a Celebration at the Burlington Union Station

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David Wulfson, VRS President, greets the assembled guests and kicks off the celebration.

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Lt. Governor Scott provides some humor reflecting on the day he spent working with the VRS track gang.



The Vermont Rail System reached a significant milestone in its history on Monday, January 6, 2014, when the railroad celebrated 50 years of serving the region with freight and passenger rail services. On that day in 1964 the Vermont Railroad ran its first train from the Burlington yard. In recognition of the achievement VRS invited employees, customers, elected officials, representatives of connecting railroads, and friends to gather in Burlington Union Station for a special celebration paying tribute to the people and events that shaped its history.Logo

VRS President David Wulfson greeted the attendees and spoke about the role his father Jay Wulfson, along with a group of pioneering railroaders, had in the founding of the nationís first privately owned railroad operating on publically owned track. He also spoke of the hard work, growth, and continued success of the railroad and its importance to the regionís economy, in particular noting with pride the way the railroad and its employees were able to bounce back from the devastating effects of Hurricane Irene in record time.

Several distinguished guests, including the Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott, Secretary of Transportation Brian Searles, and Mayor of the City of Burlington Miro Weinberger also visited the podium and reflected on the railroad, its contributions to the state, and the communities who for fifty years have relied on the rail services it provides.

After the speaking program all of the guests proceeded outside to the tracks and gathered next to locomotive #311, freshly painted in a scheme commemorating the 50th anniversary. The Wulfson children formally dedicated the unit to Joan Wulfson, their mother and Jayís wife, by having her remove a magnetic patch to reveal her name painted under the cab windows.

As part of the anniversary the Vermont Rail System had a special twelve-minute video made showcasing our history and the people and events that shaped it. The video includes interviews and some great early scenes of the railroad at work. You can view the video here.

If you would like to read more about the celebration event follow these links to articles that appeared in the local news:
Burlington Free Press
WCAX.com
MyChamplainValley.com

The January 6th anniversary celebration was the first in a series of events that will be held throughout the year. Visit news page for announcements and more information about upcoming events.

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VRS family and friends at the event.

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Locomotive #311, the Joan Wulfson, in its special anniversary paint scheme.

 

 

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