Happy New Year! December was a busy month here at Conway Scenic. We ran 29 Polar Express Trips and almost as many Santa’s Holiday Express Trains. Thanks to all who rode our trains this past year!

In mid-December, part of the trestle work of the River Road Bridge was struck by something moving on the highway which seriously gouged two of the 12” x 12” upright posts and knocked one of them out of position. We immediately responded to the scene to find pieces of wood laying in the roadway. It took the hunch of a local DOT employee and some police work to find the culprit, which turned out to be a highway plow truck. It seems that the tip of the side wing came in contact with the timbers, causing the damage.

I immediately called our contract bridge inspector and described the damage and sent photos to him. The bridge inspector came out the next day, and at his direction we made a temporary repair. A few days later, we had a contractor come out and replace the damaged timbers with good solid timbers that had just been removed from a wooden bridge that was being taken down over in Maine. The repair was inspected by a qualified bridge inspector, and we continued to run our Polar Express Trains over the structure without interruption. There is always something going on at the railroad!

On January 3, we ran our 8th annual Steam in the Snow! excursion for the Mass Bay Railroad Enthusiasts, and 7470 ran like a charm. There were no issues with overheating bearings. When the train reached Notchland, the temperature of the bearing was 114 degrees. When we arrived back in North Conway the bearing was at 81 degrees. As this is being written, we have already begun to tear down the locomotive down for its 1472 day boiler inspection.

Most, if not all, of the work on 7470 will take place in stall #4 of the North Conway Roundhouse. We plan on doing the lion’s share of the work ourselves with oversight from Brian Fanslau of Boothbay Railroad Village. Brian will be a consultant on this project and will take care of any code welding that is required. He will also do the math and complete the new Form Four for us.

The other stalls in the roundhouse are occupied as follows: Stall #1 has coach 1133 Mt. Washington in it for electrical work. Stall #2 has coach 6739 Mt. Bemis in it for body and paint work as well as other miscellaneous items. Stall #3 holds coach 6743 which is in for a new flush toilet as well as body and paint work. As the winter rolls along, we will cycle as many cars and locomotives through the shop as we have time for.

As in years past, Conway Scenic will have some tables at the Big Train Show in West Springfield, Mass, at the Big E sponsored by the Amherst Railway Society. We hope to see many of you there on Saturday and Sunday, January 24th and 25th.

That’s all for now, and as always we thank you for your continuing interest in, and support of, the Conway Scenic Railroad.

Keep it Safe,

Paul Hallett