All of the snow that we have been getting lately makes me very glad that we don’t operate through Crawford Notch in the winter time!  When it comes to railroading, the Notch is awesome in the summer but wicked in the winter.

Daily progress is being made on Steam Locomotive #7470 over in stall #4 of the roundhouse.  We have removed the sand domes, whistles, bell and jacketing as we continue to prepare the boiler for its ultra sound thickness testing.  We left the air pump on the locomotive because it looks as if all of the necessary testing can be conducted with it in place.  We expect to start removing the 2” boiler tubes within a week’s time.  You can follow our progress on our Face Book page where we will posting one or two photos of the work each week.

Work on coach 1133 has been completed, so we moved it out of stall #1 and replaced it with coach #6745.  Right now stalls 1, 2 & 3 all hold green Notch Train coaches.  I think that’s a first.  Notch Coach #6739 is in stall #2.  We are repairing all of the plastic body filler work that has come loose around the windows and will give it a paint job when the body work is complete.  We are installing new interior door hardware that was purchased from Adams & Westlake Company on all four of the 6700 coaches.

Once installed, the sliding doors on these cars will latch nicely, and we will be able to lock them when not in use.  Car #6743 is in stall #3 and will receive work similar to #6739.  We are going to replace the chemical toilet in car #6743 with a water flushing one which will be a nice upgrade.  This involves installing a water tank in the space above the rest room along with the necessary plumbing.  We will rotate as many of the other cars and engines through the shop as we have time for, mostly for routine maintenance.  The CARROLL P REED is in the parking lot waiting to be jacked up so that we can replace one of its wheel sets.

Russ and I staffed the CSRR booth at the Amherst Railway Society Show in West Springfield, Massachusetts, on January 24th and 25th.  Attendance was down this year to 14,217 people due to an 8” snow storm that we had on Saturday.  The show, however, continues to add new exhibitors and vendors each year.  Our show crew had a good time meeting new people and talking with old friends.  We still had a few of the HO versions of our former FP9A’s available for sale (both 6505 & 6516.) We also had a supply of the three Notch Coaches available for sale.  All three coaches, 6739, 6743 & 6745 continue to sell well.  We will probably offer GP7 573 in HO next.  Tony Battistelli, Pete Davis, Dennis Adams, Steve Nickless and Stef Adams also helped to man the booth again this year – thanks guys!

In late 2014, tour operator members of the National Tour Association (NTA) were surveyed and asked to recognize supplier or destination members that they turn to again and again.  Twelve categories were offered, and the businesses with the most votes in each category were announced in New Orleans on January 21st at NTA’s annual convention.  In the “Favorite Scenic Railroad” category, Conway Scenic was the Gold Winner, with Silver going to the Alaska Railroad Corporation in Alaska, and Bronze to the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad in Colorado.  It’s nice to be in such esteemed company!

As always we thank you for your interest in and support of the Conway Scenic Railroad.

Keep it Safe,   Paul Hallett