As for the Rutland, the Vermont road received a batch of six "Light" Mikados in 1918. These 2-8-2s were products of Alco's Schenectady Works, listed as Class H-6a and numbered 32-37. Once in service the steamers were immediately the most powerful within its fleet, weighing more than 240 tons, requiring rail of at least 92 pounds, and offering tractive efforts of nearly 55,000 pounds. Only the later 4-8-2 Mountains received from Alco after World War II were more powerful. During March of 1920 the USRA sent the industry back into private hands. Afterwards, the Rutland worked to overhaul and rebuild its worn out infrastructure, a common theme playing out on other lines all across the country. The Mikados proved invaluable in helping to overcome such setbacks given the state of the property and company's financial situation (the 1915 Panama Canal Act had cost it invaluable freight traffic through the loss of the Rutland Transit Company, which had shipped significant tonnage to and from Chicago via Ogdensburg).
(The Rutland's Class H-6a 2-8-2 "Light" Mikados.)
|Class H-6a||Alco||32||1918||Retired, 11/1951|
|Class H-6a||Alco||33||1918||Retired, 8/1951|
|Class H-6a||Alco||34||1918||Retired, 8/1952|
|Class H-6a||Alco||35||1918||Retired, 12/1951|
|Class H-6a||Alco||36||1918||Retired, 10/1951|
|Class H-6a||Alco||37||1918||Retired, 11/1951|
During the 1920s traffic gradually rebounded despite a 1921 recession. While the Rutland was not blessed with considerable factories and manufactured goods along its system, common across New England in those days, it did ship through freight in conjunction with friendly connections over the Boston & Maine. The road's main stable of originating traffic included prized Vermont marble, lumber, and most notably milk. The Green Mountain State once boasted a bustling dairy industry (to some extent this remains the case today) and accompanying creameries which turned out products ranging from milk to cheese. The Rutland was perfectly positioned to serve many of these businesses and dispatched dedicated milk manifests that were even given priority over passenger trains! By 1923 milk comprised more than $1 million annually in revenues.
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The Mikados could often be found assigned to this consists or other heavy/timed freights. They were supplemented in 1925 by a batch of new, heavy 4-6-2 Pacifics used to haul both milk and passenger trains. During the next two-and-a-half decades the Mikes performed faithfully but alas the coming of diesels and Rutland's incessant financial troubles took them into retirement. During 1951 the company began receiving new RS1 and RS3 road-switchers from Alco, a total of fifteen units that would eventually replace the entirety of the steam fleet in an effort to save precious-needed money. Most of the 2-8-2s were all retired that same year while #34 remained in Rutland's possession until 1952 when it, too was scrapped.
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