On November 10, 1835, the Connecticut & Passumpsic Rivers Railroad was chartered by the legislature of Vermont; but owing to the difficulty experienced in securing subscriptions to stock, nothing was done toward building the road, so the charter became void. It was revived, however, in October 31, 1843, and the time for the beginning of its construction limited to three years. As originally chartered, the road was to run from some point near the Connecticut River on the Massachusetts line, up the Connecticut and Passumpsic valleys, reaching Canada at some point in Newport or Derby. By an act of 1845, the right to "divide the route at the White River, near its mouth," was granted, recognizing the northern half as the Connecticut & Passumpsic Rivers Railroad, and allowing that portion to retain all subscriptions to the stock already received.
The company was organized in January, 1846 with future Vermont Governor Erastus Fairbanks as President. The survey was begun in April, and grading commenced soon after. On October 10, 1848, the road was formally opened to Bradford, a distance of 28.37 miles from White River Junction, and November 6th of the same year was opened through to Wells River, a distance of 40.17 miles. St. Johnsbury was reached in 1852, and Barton became the terminus in 1858-59. Work proceeded gradually, as stock was taken and funds procured. Newport became a railroad town in 1863, during which year the grading was completed to the Canada line. This point gained, another halt occurred until the connecting link from the Grand Trunk line, at Lenoxville, Canada, 33.75 miles, was assured. On the first of July, 1870, this link, under the title of the Massawippi Valley Railroad, was ready for trains, and was immediately operated by the CPRRR, under a contract for 999 years. Practically, however, the terminus of this road was at Sherbrooke, three miles farther north, where its round-house was located, using the Grand Trunk road this distance. The total mileage of the road was thus 145 miles, with connections at White River Junction with the Central Vermont
and Northern Railroads; at Wells River with the Boston, Concord & Montreal
, and the Wells River & Montreal lines; at St. Johnsbury with the St. Johnsbury & Lake Champlain division of the Portland & Ogdensburg Railroad
; at Newport with the South Eastern Railway; and at Sherbrooke, with the Grand Trunk Railroad.
The portion of the road south of White River Junction, as originally chartered, was given over to the Connecticut River Railroad, and was subsequently leased and operated by the Central Vermont Railroad Company.
The line was acquired by the Connecticut River Railroad in 1887, which was acquired by the Boston and Maine Railroad
in 1892. The B&M; acted swiftly in acquiring the company, preventing what was to have been a planned lease of the road to the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad
We are currently offering the following pieces from the Connecticut and Passumpsic Rivers Railroad Company: