Undaunted, Park found his own investors and completed the 57-mile Lebanon Springs by 1869. After a series of failed mergers and charterings of new lines, one of which included acquisition by the Central Vermont in an attempt to form its own New York-Montreal route, the B&R and Chatham & Lebanon Valley (the last railroad to bear the Chatham line's name) were taken over by the Rutland Railroad in a two-step process; during February of 1900 the former was acquired followed by the latter a year later in June of 1901. The combined properties finally offered the road its own outlet to the south. While the new acquisition was believed to offer new sources of revenue and traffic, in the end the Commodore's foretelling would prove correct.
For a time, however, the Corkscrew Division (the entire Chatham Division ran from Rutland south to Chatham via Bennington) did prove itself useful and somewhat profitable. By 1904 the Rutland was fully under the control of the NYC, which used its newly acquired subsidiary as an outlet for traffic to the north at Ogdensburg, shipping freight to and from Chicago via the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. In actuality, however, the NYC's interest in the Rutland was largely as a pawn in its vast empire. The Vanderbilt road, of course, already had its own, superb, rail route to the Wind City that was far more direct than sending freight up the Rutland and across the lakes. However, its subsidiary provided competition against the Delaware & Hudson to Montreal and the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg across New York State (the RW&O eventually became part of the NYC system), and other trunk lines like the Erie, Vanderbilt's longtime nemesis.
According to Jim Shaughnessy's book, "The Rutland Road: Second Edition," the Chatham Division truly was an operational nightmare; it featured 263 curves, heavy grades, and no major sources of online revenue. The line's only benefit was interchange with the NYC and B&A at Chatham as well as the Boston & Maine at Petersburg Junction. Unfortunately, the Rutland's picturesque New England setting could not pay the bills as originating freight, in general, was difficult to come by. The road's primary shippers were located only around Rutland and Burlington despite the fact that it operated a nearly 500-mile system. During the Corkscrew Division's prosperous years it sent timed freights of milk to the Chatham interchange, bound for New York City.
Interestingly, and in no doubt due to the line's operational problems, the Rutland opted against sending its top passenger trains, the Green Mountain Flyer and Mount Royal, over the Corkscrew. Instead, it utilized the Boston & Maine as far north as the White Creek, New York interchange before continuing on towards Montreal. Local passenger service on the Chatham Division ended in 1931, no surprise considering there were only a few small towns along the branch such as Berlin, Stephentown, and Petersburg. Finally, with the railroad again running into financial difficulty and the route yielding negligible freight, Rutland received permission to abandon the line from Bennington to Chatham in 1953. Following rail removal that summer the work was completed to Bennington by August 7th. The Rutland's remaining shippers in Chatham were served via trackage rights over the B&M and B&A.
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