BURLINGTON, Vt. — Robert C. Jones, educator, railroader, and prolific author, died on Jan. 13 at age 86 of natural causes at his Vermont home. A graduate of the University of Vermont and St. Michael’s College, he was a teacher for 32 years.
He wrote, co-wrote, or edited 24 books of northern New England Railroad history, including a seven-volume study of the Central Vermont Railway, “Vermont’s Granite Railroads,” and three volumes of “Railroads of Vermont.” He also wrote the definitive histories of all five of Maine’s 2-foot gauge railroads, including two volumes about the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes, and he edited a revised version of Linwood Moody’s famed “Maine Two-Footers.” His byline also was in several historical and modeling magazines. His son Jim has continued the tradition, producing more than 40 rail-themed video documentaries and five books.
For 41 years, Jones also worked for the Canadian Pacific, Vermont Railway, Green Mountain Railroad, and after his retirement in 1993, full time for the New England Central Railroad. Jones’ father was a 50-year veteran of the Canadian Pacific; his wife, Janet, worked in passenger service for the Green Mountain and Vermont; and son Marc and grandson William have also had railroading careers.
In addition to Janet, his wife of 65 years, and sons James and Marc, Jones is survived by four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. His youngest son, Steven, died in 1983 at age 16.
A celebration of life gathering will be held at a later date.
— Updated at 12:15 p.m. to correct information on survivors and add other details.