Waterbury, VT (WAB)
Located on Waterbury's village green, the brick depot with fancy corbelling was built for the Central Vermont Railroad in 1875. It contains a passenger waiting room, café and visitors center.
US Highway 2 and Park Row
Waterbury, VT 05676
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 5,397
- Facility Ownership: Revitalizing Waterbury, Inc.
- Parking Lot Ownership: Revitalizing Waterbury, Inc.
- Platform Ownership: Revitalizing Waterbury, Inc.
- Track Ownership: New England Central Railroad (NECR)
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
Waterbury’s passenger rail station was built for the Central Vermont Railroad in 1875, and provides a waiting room for passengers on the Vermonter as well as Green Mountain Coffee’s café and a visitor center. The ornately Victorian station stands at the head of Rusty Parker Memorial Park, which is also Waterbury’s village green.
The station had been the centerpiece of the village square through the first half of the 20th century, although in later years it was left to deteriorate. While structurally sound, the station building had lost all of its Italianate Victorian architectural detailing and ornamentation that is common to Waterbury’s streetscape The interior had been totally reconfigured and partitioned into two separate spaces.
In 1991, Revitalizing Waterbury organized to preserve and enhance the economic, historic and social vitality of downtown Waterbury, Vt. This non-profit group began planning the restoration of the station in 1997, and received a grant of $25,000 from the Great American Stations Foundation as well as a $369,000 Vermont Agency of Transportation Enhancement Grant in 2000.
However, negotiating a long-term lease with the railroad owners proved more difficult. The railroads were in flux: during this time, Canadian National had acquired Central Vermont and then resold it to RailTex, which changed its name to New England Central. In 2000, Rail Tex was bought out by Rail America and this latter company is now the New England Central’s parent corporation. Negotiations for leasing the station also received a serious setback after September 11, 2001, when railway liability insurance costs increased dramatically.
In late 2004, the village of Waterbury at last arranged for Revitalizing Waterbury to lease the property. In early 2005 the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Foundation awarded Revitalizing Waterbury a grant for $450,000 to be matched by other funds. A successful capital fundraising campaign met the $1,200,000 goal through donations from the private sector as well as individuals. Green Mountain Coffee agreed to lease the station from Revitalizing Waterbury after completion of the restoration and their lease runs through 2016.
The restoration, completed in 2006, was done by the architectural firm of Arnold and Scangas of Colchester, Vt., with Laz Scangas as lead architect. K.R. Adams of Milton, Vt. worked as general contractor.
From a shell of its former self, the station was restored to its 1875 appearance. First, corrective structural work was done on the trackside wall and canopy and water drainage problems addressed. The baggage building on the east side of the station had been removed many years prior and was rebuilt, as was the bell-shaped cupola on the top of the central tower—the defining architectural element of the building. Interior work included exposing the 18-foot-high original vaulted ceiling, recreating the original spacious arrangement. Plumbing and electrical systems were brought up to code.
In late 2008, after more negotiations with the railroad, Revitalizing Waterbury was able to purchase the building they had worked so hard to save. The organization deems the restoration project an example of successful collaboration among non-profit, government and business sectors.
Little River, Graves Brook, Thatcher Brook and Alder Brook all feed into the Winooski at Waterbury, which sits just below the Green Mountains and within sight of Mount Ethan Allen. The thickly forested hills provided ample food and shelter to the Abenaki settlements prior to the arrival of Europeans. In 1763, King George III of England granted a charter through Governor Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire for land in the Winooski River Valley. The settlers, mostly from Waterbury, Connecticut, named the new township after their hometown. And in 1783, James Marsh arrived to become the first permanent settler.
Early industries, aside from the independent farms of the region, included lumbering and the fabrication of baskets, children’s carriages, leather products, starch, alcohol, and scythe handles. Spanish Merino sheep — much coveted for their fine wool — became extremely popular in Vermont, and this in turn fed the burgeoning New England textile industry from 1830 to 1870. Commercial dairying became the pre-eminent agricultural pursuit thereafter.
The state of Vermont chartered the Central Vermont Railroad (CVR) on October 31, 1843, to build a line across the center of the state from Windsor on the Connecticut River, through Northfield (the railroad’s headquarters) up the valley of the Winooski River through Williston, Essex, and finally to Burlington. Arriving in Waterbury township in 1849, the topology of the region required the railroad to follow the river closely. The new stop effectively moved activity from Waterbury Center, further up the hills.
The railroad also brought population growth as well as commerce and tourism, and the village was incorporated in 1882. The town and village governments have continued to work closely together since that date.
In early November 1927, torrential rains added to already swollen rivers and with nine inches of rain falling in a thirty-six hour period, severe flooding affected all of New England. The state flooded from Newport to Bennington, with the Winooski River Valley being the hardest hit. Photos of the aftermath show locomotives turned on their sides beside washed-out rails. The railroad bridge at Waterbury was washed away and several residents here lost their lives. Following the flood’s devastation, the Little River Dam was built in 1938 as a flood control project by the Army Corps of Engineers. The resulting Waterbury Reservoir was formed and became a resource for public recreation.
The village of Waterbury, located in the center of four ski areas—Stowe, Sugarbush, Mad River Glen and Bolton Valley—has become something of a crossroads, with interstates coming through in the 1960s as well as theVermonter bringing visitors. The village contains a historic district, designated in 1978, that is itself a destination, providing farmers markets in season, antiquing and live musical performances. Nearby factories also provide both tours and delicacies, including Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory, the Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Lake Champlain Chocolates, and the Cabot Creamery Annex.
A caretaker opens and closes the otherwise unstaffed station, which does not provide ticketing or baggage services and is served by two daily trains.
The Vermonter is financed primarily through funds made available by the Vermont Agency of Transportation, the Connecticut Department of Transportation and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
Station Building (with waiting room)
- Yes Short Term Parking Spaces
Number of spaces available for Amtrak passengers to park for the day only, not overnight. Parking fees may apply.
- Accessible Payphones
- Accessible Platform
Accessible platform is a barrier-free path from the drop-off area outside the station to the station platform.
- Accessible Restrooms
- Accessible Ticket Office
- Accessible Waiting Room
- Accessible Water Fountain
- Baggage Storage
Baggage storage is an area where passengers may store their bags, equivalent to "left luggage" in Europe. A storage fee may apply.
- Bike Boxes
- Checked Baggage
- Dedicated Parking
- Enclosed Waiting Area
- Help With Luggage
- High Platform
A high platform is a platform at the level of the vestibule of the train, with the exception of Superliners.
Self-service lockers are available in select stations for passenger baggage storage.
- Long-term Parking Spaces
Number of spaces available for Amtrak passengers to park overnight. Parking fees may apply.
- Parking Attendant
- Pay Phones
- Shipping Boxes
- Ski Bags
- Wheelchair Lift
Wheelchair lift is a platform-mounted lift for loading passengers from low platforms onto trains that do not have onboard ramps.
For passengers who cannot walk far or at all, we offer a wheelchair to move the passengers around within the station. At some stations this may be a battery-powered people mover. The wheelchair or other types of movers must not leave the station or be moved onto the train.