Railroads & Locomotives Railroad Profiles Short Lines Washington County Railroad profile

Washington County Railroad profile

By Lucas Iverson | January 30, 2023

The Washington County Railroad is a short line railroad operating multiple divisions throughout Vermont.

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Washington County Railroad logoWashington County Railroad summary

The Washington County Railroad (WACR) is a short line railroad that operates in Vermont. It’s a subsidiary of Vermont Rail System, a privately held firm that is owned by the Wulfson family for more than 50 years. The railroad uses multiple divisions of standard-gauge track throughout the state from Montpelier to Graniteville and from White River Junction to Newport.


The Washington County Railroad’s Montpelier to Graniteville line was once part of the New England Central Railroad from 1995 to 1999. By September 1999, the struggling line was under Vermont Rail System’s operation from the NECR to form the Montpelier and Barre Division of the Washington County. The WACR expanded in 2003 with the acquisition of the longer Connecticut River Division between White River Junction and Newport.


Nearly 90% of the inbound and outbound freight serves Vermont businesses. Granite is a principal commodity for the Washington County Railroad on the Montpelier and Barre Division. The stone is hauled out from Graniteville to the New England Central’s interchange at Montpelier Junction and then shipped to destinations throughout North America. The Connecticut River Division works with Mobilex in White River Junction, and Commercial Transport Incorporated in Orleans and Lyndonville for transloading and warehouse services.

The railroad’s diesel locomotive fleet comes from its parent company’s roster pool ranging from EMD GP38-2s to GP40FH-2s. The motive power rotates among the Washington County and its five affiliate railroads. Since 2022, repainting of the units has taken place in the scheme of Vermont Railway’s bright red with white stylized mountain peaks logo reading “Vermont Rail System.”

The Montpelier and Barre Division interchanges with the New England Central Railroad at Montpelier Junction. On the Connecticut River Division, interchanges are made at both ends of the line with CSX Transportation and New England Central Railroad in White River Junction, and the Canadian Pacific Railway in Newport.

Read more about the Washington County Railroad in Trains’ June 2013 issue.

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