If you like snow, ice, and wicked cold temperatures, New England was the place to be in February! Inside where it’s warm, though, and tucked away under the snow drifts, we have been continuing our winter maintenance work here at the railroad.

Almost all of the 2” tubes are now out of steam locomotive #7470. This has opened up the interior of the boiler for inspection. Brain Fanslau has been here to conduct some thickness tests and we are finding what we had expected to find. Overall the boiler is in very good condition! One thing that we discovered, however, is that the dry pipe is made of wrought iron instead of steel and it is an ‘odd size’ in today’s world of standard sizes. The existing dry pipe has an 8” Outside Diameter which is not a stock size. This got Brian to wondering about this pipe, and after some research he discovered that our dry pipe is actually an 8” Flue made as I said of wrought iron. We drilled several test holes in the pipe to physically confirm its thickness, and we inspected the interior of the pipe with a remote camera (“camera on a stick” I call it), and we found out that it still has plenty of service life left. So it looks like the existing dry pipe will be good for another 15 year cycle. This is good news both from the perspective of time and the bottom line. The work continues!

We still have the three green Notch coaches in the other stalls, although the 6745 is just about ready to be rolled out. The 6745 has received general maintenance work on its brakes and center plates, and we have painted the floor and roof. When 6745 goes out of stall #1 we will move 6743 from stall #3 to stall #1 and put one of the diesels in stall #3, most likely GP9 #1751. 1751 needs a 92 day inspection and one year air work. We have decided to hold off on painting the exterior of #1751 at this time.

Over at the Station, we are working on the Thomas Event and figuring out how to fit Percy into the schedule this year. Percy is a newly constructed full size engine making his debut in North Conway this year. Basically the two trains will alternate on the Conway Line. Thomas will come into the station on the middle track as in the past, and Percy will arrive and depart on the main line in front of the station. We have 90 trains scheduled to run during the 6 day event. The Conway Line between North Conway and Hussey field is going to be a very busy place on those two weekends! The regular Valley train will be running during the event between North Conway and Bartlett and North Conway and Glen. Those trains will depart and terminate from temporary platforms on the Main Line adjacent to the North Conway Freight House.

Our new brochure has arrived and can be picked up in the racks at the station and where ever great brochures are distributed!
That’s all for now. Thank you for your support of and interest in the Conway Scenic Railroad.

Keep it safe.

Paul Hallett