In October, 1950, the railroad celebrated the arrival of the first train in St. Albans one hundred years earlier in 1850. The event included the arrival of several engines, which were put on display. These engines included the antique wood-burning engine #40. A wood-burning engine is distinctive from one that burns coal because of the over-sized smoke stack. Most likely the #40 had been a workhorse for the Grand Trunk Railroad in its early years, and by 1950 was owned by the Canadian National Railroad.
In the train shed bay at the left and just barely visible there is also a modern, for 1950 anyway, diesel passenger train engine. Lastly on display at that time in the train shed was the Central Vermont engine #601. Engine #601 would be honored during this celebration with the very unique distinction of being additionally named “The City of St. Albans”. She would have a plate with that name mounted under the engine cab windows. What ever happened to those plates?
In these photographs we can see two local women, Kay Keddy and Carmen Lister, who both created special dresses for the celebration. In the cab is engineer Cy Perkins.
The CVRR train shed was an amazing structure and it would survive until 1963 when it was pulled down. What a huge architectural and historical loss, not only for St. Albans, but for the State of Vermont.
Do you have photos or memorabilia from the celebration? Maybe one of these dresses survived in a trunk or closet? If you have any items that should be preserved for the future and could help tell more of St. Albans’ story, please call the Museum at 527-7933, or contact us via email at stamuseum.org.