I was out hy-railing the line recently, in order to observe conditions, and I made it as far west as Notchland before I decided to take off. Track Inspector Leary had been that far a few days earlier so I knew that I would have a clear track to that point. Snow can still be seen in the Gateway at this time, so it seemed prudent to head back to North Conway after reaching Notchland.
I try to get over the line once a week when I can because there is always something out there that can be improved. Just like our track inspector, I am always on the lookout for safety defects or things that might develop into defects. The proverbial “a stitch in time saves 9” applies here. Fix a small thing now, and it won’t develop into a big problem later. Many things can be tended to on the spot. In other cases, notes are made so that we can gather the manpower, equipment and material necessary to return later and correct a potential problem.
Often during an inspection, we will find the occasional tree that has fallen and needs to be cut up and removed. There is usually some trash that needs to be picked up, too. During this trip, I stopped at the Bartlett Roundhouse to reattach a plywood panel that had been pried loose by ‘the kids.’ Since I had access, I figured that I had better go inside to make sure everything was okay, which it was. Further along, I stopped by the river near Nancy Brook to check on the repairs that had been made by the State a few years ago after Hurricane Irene came through. All of those repairs are holding up very nicely.
After returning from Notchland by highway, I put on at North Conway and hy-railed down to Conway. During this trip, I cut back a large, multi-pronged tree stump that had been sticking out into the right-of-way. I made a repair to a crossing plank at Hussey’s field, and I stopped and talked to our signal maintainers who were working on the crossing signals at Passaconaway road. They asked me to order another set of signal batteries that will be needed before the season is over. I asked them to replace a light bulb in the home signal at the Bartlett freight house which I had observed to be dark.
At Conway, a young man (maybe 7 or 8) was standing in the doorway at Burke’s garage, and he observed with keen interest the process of raising the hy-rail gear on the truck so that it could be driven off the track. I gave him a wave and headed back to North Conway. Every trip is a little different, and almost all are good.
Usually my inspection runs end with a stop at the trash dumpster in North Conway. This time I had a number of empty beer bottles and cans to unload plus two pieces of blue tarp, one piece of an orange tarp, a large white piece of insulating material, and an old spike barrel lid!
At the roundhouse, car #1133 has come out of stall #2, and CHOCORUA has been rolled in. In stall #1 we are still working on GP9 #1751 where it has had a thorough 92 day inspection. In addition, we have installed elliptical springs and have replaced a number of pedestal liners. This locomotive is just about ready for service and it looks like we will be bringing GP38 #252 in next.
May is RDC month at Conway Scenic! RDC #23 will be running on weekdays in May from now until Memorial Day weekend. Of all the equipment that we own, RDC #23 has the smoothest ride. Come on over and experience it for yourself. Starting on May 6 we will have two departures daily with an 11:30 to Bartlett and 1:30 to Conway.
As always, we thank you for your interest in and support of the Conway Scenic Railroad.
KEEP IT SAFE – Paul Hallett