Vermont Railroad Timeline

1831-1843 • 1843  1846-18511852-18631860-18681870-18751877-18861888-1894

1831 The Vermont legislature grants the state’s first railroad charter for a rail line from Rutland to Whitehall, New York, but it is never built.

Stock certificate of the Vermont Central Railroad1833 The Vermont Central Railroad is chartered for the first time by the Vermont legislature but fails to begin construction.

1843 The Vermont Central Railroad is chartered for the second time from Burlington through Hartford to Windsor in the Connecticut River Valley, led by former Governor Charles Paine.

Portrait of Charles Paine Charles Paine
had just left the office of governor of Vermont when he helped secure the charter for the Vermont Central. As leader of the Whig Party he served two terms in 1841 and 1842. Paine was from a prominent Northfield, Vermont family and had graduated from Harvard College. The family had considerable financial investments in Northfield, including woolen mills and a hotel. Paine became president of the Vermont Central Railroad and made sure that the main line ran through Northfield and that its rail yards were built there. Paine was forced to resign from the railroad by his stockholders, who blamed him for the financial crisis the company faced in 1852.

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