The railroad lost two of our own last month. Don Derse was a ticket agent for us for about five years after he retired from spending 25 years in the Mt. Washington Valley as a doctor. His obituary mentions that he had always wanted to work at the train station, and we are so glad that he was able to do that.
Fred Terranova had been with us since 2004. He started off as a Ticket Agent and then became qualified as a Trainman and later as a Conductor. He was best known though as one of our ‘Managers on Duty,’ or the MOD as we call that position. The MOD is the person directly responsible for running the railroad on any given day. If you have been to Conway Scenic at all in the last ten years, then more than likely you interacted with Fred or at least saw him performing his duties here. Fred made all of our visitors feel right at home. He kept people safe and that included passengers and crews, as well as people and families who were just walking through the yard. He loved working at the railroad and it showed. We are a family here, and it hurts when we lose good people. May Don and Fred both rest in peace.
On more than one occasion I have talked about what a great place Conway Scenic Railroad is. We have wonderful old buildings and an amazing physical plant here. Our 1874 station in North Conway is known the world over as a classic example of a country railroad station. Locomotive 7470 is the only standard gauge, coal fired steam engine operating in New Hampshire, and we have a combined 52 miles of former Boston & Maine and Maine Central Railroad that happens to include the most scenic portion of the former Mountain Division. The thing is that, without good people to bring it all to life, we have nothing. I am grateful for all of the hundreds of people who over the last forty eight years have made our railroad what it is today. Conway Scenic is a living memorial to all of those good people.
In the roundhouse the work on coach #6745 is almost complete. As soon as 6745 comes out of the house, we will start working on our locomotives as time is actually getting short! Opening day (April 16) will be here before you know it! GP7 #573 needs 368-day air work and a 92-day inspection. I expect that we will be starting the season with her. Next in will be GP9 #1751. This is the only locomotive in the fleet that doesn’t require any periodic air brake work, but it does need a 92-day inspection. 573 and 1751 will cover our spring season train service. Once again, because of all of the other work going on, we have decided to put off painting 1751, so she will continue to be in the modified New York Central scheme as we received her from Finger Lakes. The work on Notch open coach #1308 continues in stall #2. We’re actively working on 7470, too, though at this point just one day per week.
We are looking forward to another busy year here at the railroad with a host of activities designed to delight young and old (and those of you in the middle too!) Check our website for the details.
As always we thank you for your interest in and support of the Conway Scenic Railroad.
Keep it safe.