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Conway Scenic Railroad

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Conway Scenic Railroad
Conway Scenic Railroad logo.png
Conway Scenic locomotive 4268.JPG
Display EMD F7 beside the 1874 North Conway freight depot
LocaleWhite Mountains region of New Hampshire
ConnectionsNew Hampshire Central Railroad
Commercial operations
Built byConway Branch: Portsmouth, Great Falls and Conway Railroad;
Mountain Division: Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad
Original gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Preserved operations
Owned byProfile Mountain Holdings Corp; Mountain Division right-of-way owned by the State of New Hampshire
Operated byConway Scenic Railroad
Reporting markCSRX
Length51 miles (82 km)
Preserved gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Commercial history
Opened1872
1875Mountain Division is completed and connected
1890Boston and Maine Corporation acquires the Conway Branch
1972Conway Branch abandoned north of Ossipee
1983Crawford Notch regular service ends in September
1984Last Crawford Notch train (October)
1992Mountain Division abandoned east of Whitefield
ClosedN. Conway Station 1961
Preservation history
August 4, 1974Started
1994Mountain Division operations begin
HeadquartersNorth Conway
Website
conwayscenic.com

The Conway Scenic Railroad (reporting mark CSRX)[1] is a heritage railroad in North Conway, New Hampshire, United States, owned by Profile Mountain Holdings Corp. The railroad operates over two historic railway routes: a line from North Conway to Conway that was formerly part of the Conway Branch of the Boston and Maine Railroad, and a line from North Conway through Crawford Notch to Fabyan that was once part of the Mountain Division of the Maine Central Railroad. The Conway line is owned by Conway Scenic, and the Mountain Division is owned by the State of New Hampshire.

The railroad's main terminal is located in historic downtown North Conway in the Mount Washington valley. The station complex has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979.[2]

History

The Conway Scenic Railroad was formed by Dwight Smith, who was an employee of the Boston and Maine Railroad in the late 1960s. After years of negotiations, Smith was able to convince his employer to sell a portion of the Conway Branch, which it planned to abandon, to him and two local businessmen in 1974, and the Conway Scenic Railroad began that year.[3] In 1999 the original owners were bought out by husband and wife Russ and Dot Seybold,[4] and on January 30, 2018, the railroad was sold again to Profile Mountain Holdings Corp.[5]

Operations

The Dorthea Mae dome car

The railroad operates passenger trains out of its station in North Conway Village from April to December each year.[6]

Special freight operation

On June 20, 2009, a 20-axle Schnabel car was brought down through Crawford Notch carrying a 227-ton transformer for Public Service of New Hampshire, an electrical utility company. The train was led by locomotives 573, 6505 and 6516. It was the first scheduled freight train through Crawford Notch since September 3, 1983, and the first freight train of any kind since October 1984. The empty cars were shipped out nine days later, led by 6505 and 4266. This shipment completed the first and only revenue freight move for the Conway Scenic to date.[7]

Locomotive Roster

Main units

Number Builder Type Build date Status Notes
7470 Grand Trunk Railway Point St. Charles Shops Steam, 0-6-0, CN O-18-a 1921 Operational Former Canadian National Railway, named in honor of Dwight Smith, who purchased it in 1968.[8] New Hampshire's only active coal-fired standard-gauge steam locomotive, it has been operating at the Conway Scenic since the railroad's inception.[9] Undergoing repairs as of April 2021.[9]
216 EMD GP35 1965 Operational Acquired from Pan Am Railways in March 2010 along with the 252, arrived in May 2010. The locomotive is usually seen in service on the Mountaineer.[10]
252 EMD GP38 1966 Operational Former Maine Central unit, acquired in a trade from Pan Am Railways in March 2010.[8] Named in honor of Kurt Ward, it is primarily used in rotation to pull the Mountaineer trains. Undergoing repairs as of August 2020.[11]
255 EMD GP38 1966 Operational Former Maine Central unit, acquired from the Vermont Railway in 2021.
573 EMD GP7 1950 Operational Former Maine Central unit, arrived on property in 1995 from the Springfield Terminal. Named in honor of longtime engineer Gordon Lang in 2021. This unit is typically assigned to the Heritage Excursions.[12]
1751 EMD GP9 1965 Operational Acquired in 2012 in a trade with Finger Lakes Railway. Arrived on property in September 2012, with GP9 No. 1757 in tow. Today 1751 sees usage on the Mountaineer, Heritage Excursions, and occasional work extras.[13]
4266 EMD F7A 1949 Operational Arrived in property in the early 1980's after being purchased by the 470 railroad club of Portland, Maine. Locomotive is not owned by Conway Scenic. The engine sees limited service, including an annual 470 railroad club special in the fall.[14]
4268 EMD F7A 1949 Operational Former Boston & Maine unit, arrived at the Conway Scenic in 1992. Returned to service in April 2022.
23 "Millie" Budd Company RDC-1 1952 Operational Originally built for the New Haven, 23 arrived in 2008 from the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway. The RDC sees limited service on the railroad, typically reserved for charters or special events.

Inoperable units

Number Builder Type Build date Status Notes
501 Alco Steam, 2-8-0 1910 Display; awaiting restoration Former Maine Central Unit, acquired from the 470 Railroad Club in early 2019. Arrived in November 1983, it has been on display ever since, where it is awaiting restoration as of April 2018.[15]
360 General Electric 44-tonner 1942 Display Owned by the State of New Hampshire. This engine arrived in June 2005 from the New Hampshire Central Railroad and has since been on static display. It is the only unit that has never been in operation for the Conway Scenic Railroad and, as of 2017, there are no plans of restoring this unit back to full operation.[16]
1741 EMD GP9 1957 Display; awaiting possible restoration Former Boston & Maine unit, owned by the 470 Railroad Club. Arrived in October 2021. Inoperable as of December 2020.[17]

Former units

Number Builder Type Build date Notes
15 General Electric 44-tonner 1945 An ex-Maine Central unit, this engine arrived by rail in 1975 and was the first ever diesel engine for the railroad.[18] It was used as the primary power when the railroad was not operating a steam engine. Operated for Conway Scenic Railroad from 1975 to 2005, it last operated during Railfans' Weekend in October 2005. It was later sold to the Southern Prairie Railway in 2011 where it received a full restoration and continues service.[19][20]
108 Baldwin Steam, 2-6-2 1920 An ex-San Augustine County Lumber Company and later ex-Angelina and Neches River Railroad and ex-Reader Railroad. Acquired from the Reader Railroad in 1976. Operated for Conway Scenic Railroad from 1977 to 1988. In 1999, it was moved back to Texas were, as of July 2011, it is stored at the Blacklands Railroad all disassembled. The engine is now owned by Robbins Rail Museum.[21][22]

Appearances in film

In the 2005 Christmas television film, The 12 Dogs of Christmas, starring Jordan-Claire Green, the museum's depot was filmed in several scenes during the beginning of the film, and the Conway Scenic's passenger cars were also used in the film.[23]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Search MARKs". Railinc. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
  2. ^ "NEW HAMPSHIRE - Carroll County". National Register of Historic Places. (District - #79003792)
  3. ^ Amadon, Ron (July 23, 1977). "A Nostalgic Train Ride". The Telegraph. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  4. ^ "History: Conway Scenic Railroad, Inc". Conway Scenic Railroad. Archived from the original on December 22, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  5. ^ Eastman, Tom (January 31, 2018). "Conway Scenic RR sold to Profile Mountain Holdings Corp". The Conway Daily Sun.
  6. ^ "Visit NH: Conway Scenic Railroad, Inc". Visit NH. Archived from the original on October 29, 2021. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  7. ^ Tucker, Edith (June 24, 2009). "End of line for made in China transformer. 411-ton transformer is hauled on Conway Scenic RR". Coos County Democrat. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  8. ^ a b Solomon, Brian (May 2020). "Steam, Stunning Scenery, Ghosts, and a Cat Named Cinders". Trains. pp. 32–39.
  9. ^ a b "Steam Engine #7470". Conway Scenic Railroad. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  10. ^ Solomon, Brian. "October 2020 Wheel Report". Conway Scenic Railroad.
  11. ^ Solomon, Brian. "August 2020 Wheel Report". Conway Scenic Railroad.
  12. ^ Solomon, Brian. "April 2021 Wheel Report". Conway Scenic Railroad.
  13. ^ Solomon, Brian. "October 2020 Wheel Report". Conway Scenic Railroad.
  14. ^ "4266 and 4268 Updates on July 30 and August 1". The 470 Railroad Club Blog. August 1, 2021.
  15. ^ Eastman, Tom (April 13, 2018). "ALL ABOARD! Conway Scenic's 44th season opens with new owners". The Conway Daily Sun.
  16. ^ "New Hampshire Central Diesel Power". The Diesel Shop.
  17. ^ "Historical Group Saves Boston & Maine GP9". Railfan & Railroad Magazine. December 24, 2020.
  18. ^ "Maine Central 44 Ton Switcher #15". Ozark Mountain Railcar. Archived from the original on September 27, 2009.
  19. ^ "Maine Central 44 Ton Switcher #15". Ozark Mountain Railcar. Archived from the original on September 27, 2009.
  20. ^ "Conway Scenic Railroad". www.thedieselshop.us. Retrieved October 4, 2021.
  21. ^ "Request for Expressions of Interest in Acquisition of Steam Locomotive #108". Railway Preservation News. July 25, 2005. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  22. ^ "Steam Locomotive #108". The Rannoch Corporation. Archived from the original on February 4, 2005. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  23. ^ Merrill, Kieth (May 7, 2004). "12 Dogs of Christmas". Meridian Magazine.

External links