Vermont Rail System acquires six-axle EMD power

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A rendering of the new paint to be applied to the SD70M-2s.
Vermont Rail System
BURLINGTON, Vt. – Vermont Rail System will be acquiring its first six-axle locomotives through a deal with First Union Rail Corp. that will see pair of the former Florida East Coast SD70M-2s arrive by early September. The deal includes ex-FEC SD70M-2s Nos. 101 and 103, which will be shipped to Vermont for acceptance. Eventually, the pair will cycle through the Providence & Worcester paint booth for red paint and Vermont Railway numbers Nos. 431 and 432.

The big EMDs will retain their blue and yellow Alaska Railroad-inspired scheme and likely be renumbered upon arrival in Vermont.

Long term plans for the SD70M-2s include regular use on the Whitehall to Bellows Falls trains, Nos. 263 and 264, and likely other assignments that may see them used to Bennington and Burlington as required.

“We are happy to finally be able to update our fleet for the future,” Vermont Rail System President David Wulfson says. “These units provide increased reliability and fuel efficiency that will assure our customers that we are keeping up with today’s technology.”

Vermont Rail System sold five of its GP40s: VTR No. 301 and 312 and GMRC Nos. 302, 304, 305 to GATX Corp. under its GMTX Locomotive Leasing arm. All five locomotives are expected to leave the property for shipment to a facility for evaluation by GATX for future use.

Additionally, a deal was finalized that will see three ex-Canadian Pacific MP15s leased from GMTX. The locomotives were previously on the Milwaukee Road. Having arrived early in the year at the Burlington shops for evaluation, ex-Canadian Pacific Nos. 1404, 1428, and 1433 were renumbered to GMTX Nos. 316, 312 and 318, respectively. Two of the units were promptly shipped to CAD Railway Industries in Lachine, Quebec, for rebuilding.

Once in service, the plan is to free up road power by placing the MP15s in service in Rutland, Bellows Falls, and Burlington, Vermont, yard and switching duties.

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