It’s JULY and that means that we are currently gearing up for our visit with Thomas the Tank Engine™ and his good friend Percy (the Tank Engine). We will be celebrating this event the last two weekends of this month:  July 22, 23, 24 & 29, 30, 31.  Bring the kids and the grandkids over for a full day of railroad-themed entertainment.  This is one of the few times during the year when we open one of the locomotives for a tour through the cab.  We will be using locomotive #1757 for that purpose again this year, courtesy of the 470 Railroad Club which is the actual owner of that unit.

Locomotive #252 is now out of the shop with its new oil cooler in place, and we have already run it to Crawford Depot for a week straight. She is turned so that she is facing railroad west (towards St. Johnsbury!)  This is unusual and probably won’t last long, so if you want a photo of this arrangement, now would be your chance.

Notch Train open car #1308 made its first trip to Crawford Notch on Thursday, June 30 and it really looks resplendent in its new paint. The Notch Train is once again operating with its traditional open car.

We just had a visit from the one of the Federal Railroad Administration’s Railroad Bridge Specialists. The specialist accompanied our regular Bridge Inspector (Wayne W. Duffett, P.E. from TEC Associates in South Portland, ME) during an annual inspection of all of our bridges on the Conway Line.  The inspection was a success with no major exceptions taken to any of our bridges.  I always find it interesting to note that the turntable here in North Conway is considered to be a bridge!

Over at the shop we have just completed the two-year air brake work and a 92-day inspection on locomotive #4266. We also had a chance to apply a nice coat of ‘Mothers’ brand car wax to the car body so she currently is looking pretty good and is ready to help handle the Valley Train during the Thomas event.  Right after #4266 left the shop we brought #573 in for her second 92-day inspection of the 2016 season.  That work is ongoing now.

Speaking of the Roundhouse, we are currently looking for someone to run the shop. After ten years of faithful service, Bobby Howland has decided to move on to other pursuits.  If you are interested in working at one of the top ten Heritage Railroads in the USA, or know of someone who might be, please get in touch with me.  The ideal candidate will be people-oriented with railroad experience along with strong mechanical and electrical skills.  Experience with steam locomotives would be a definite plus but is not required.  Salary commensurate with experience.  Please pass the word!

That’s all from here for now.

Keep it Safe!

Paul Hallett