Vermont Railroad Timeline

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

Portrait of Erastus Fairbanks1843 The Connecticut & Passumpsic River Railroad is chartered from the Connecticut River to Canada, led by Erastus Fairbanks.

Erastus Fairbanks and his brother Thaddeus founded the Fairbanks Scale Company of St. Johnsbury. Erastus was the business manager and became involved in local politics, eventually becoming a leader in the state Whig and Republican Parties. He was elected governor in 1852 and again in 1861, when he called Vermonters to action in support of the Civil War. His early and sustained involvement with the Connecticut & Passumpsic River Railroad was directly tied to his interest in getting railroad service to St. Johnsbury and the Fairbanks Scale Company.

1843 The Vermont & Massachusetts Railroad is chartered from Brattleboro to Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

Rutland and Burlington Railroad Company stock certificate signed by Timothy Follet
The Champlain & Connecticut River Railroad (later known as the Rutland Railroad) is chartered from Burlington to the Connecticut River, led by Burlington steamship businessman Timothy Follett.

Timothy Follett was a lawyer and merchant from Burlington. Follett was one of the founders of the Lake Champlain Steamboat Company and became a successful merchant because of his innovative use of transportation on Lake Champlain and the Champlain Canal. He was elected to the Vermont legislature from Burlington in 1830. Follett was keenly interested in the development of the railroad system in Vermont and its impact on Burlington. As its chief promoter and after serving as superintendent during construction, Follett was elected the first president of the Rutland Railroad in 1849. Three years later his enemies forced him out of the company.

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