Our regular Valley Train engine, GP7 #573, took a break from working the train during the last week of June so that we could run GP9 #1751. This was mainly to make sure that #1751 was in good working order after we had installed new coil springs in the rear truck. I had a chance to run it myself one Saturday, and she runs like a champ! Just like at former owner Finger Lakes Railroad, this locomotive is well-liked by the crews. It runs clean at the stacks, doesn’t use any crankcase oil, has plenty of power, and rides like Dwight’s Cadillac! We have an excellent new addition to our roster of locomotives.
Speaking of the roster, we currently have the following active units: GP35 #216, GP 38 #252, GP7 #573, GP9 #1751, F7 #4266 (owned by the 470 Club) and #7470. Plus RDC #23. That makes for a combined 9,800 of available diesel horsepower; it’s well over 10,000 HP when you throw in the tractive effort of #7470. Inactive locomotives on the property are 44 tonner #360 (owned by the State of New Hampshire), Steam locomotive #501, GP9 #1757 and F7 #4268 (all three loco’s owned by 470 Club). These out of service locomotives represent 3,630 diesel HP. Of these, the 1757 is the closest to being in operating condition.
We hosted the Maine Rail Group for an excursion out to Whitefield (Hazen Switch) on Father’s Day using #216 and #252 in “pull – pull” fashion: one locomotive on each end of the consist. MRG held their annual meeting on board the train, and many enjoyed lunch in the HATTIE EVANS dining car. MRG was the previous owner of the Hattie Evans and the group did extensive restoration work on the car which made it a desirable addition to our Notch fleet. We sincerely thank them for keeping the car from becoming scrap metal, for all the work they did on it and, finally, for making it available to us. We also thank them for coming to ride with us up through the Notch! The following is from MRG’s website’s homepage:
Maine Rail Group exists to provide insights and positive actions in the promotion of former, existing, and future rail usage. Not only can railroad usage reduce traffic on our highways, it will reduce dependence on foreign oil and our carbon emission imprint on the earth’s atmosphere. As to commuter and nationwide passenger service, the United States and Canada are playing catch-up to European and Asian Nations who seem well aware of the advantages of rail to move people and products from place to place efficiently. Public awareness is needed to move us forward toward safe, efficient movement of people and goods in this country. Our goal, in part, is to provide that awareness.
We are just settling down into our full schedule of at least 5 round trip trains per day with 7 round trips per day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The Notch Train runs on these days, with the option for lunch on the Hattie Evans (choice of two seatings with the First Class Notch Train Package), and there’s a “Sunset” departure to Bartlett, too, complete with the option for a delicious 4-course dinner on the Chocorua.
That’s all for this time, thank you for your interest in and support of the Conway Scenic Railroad!
Keep it Safe.