The fall foliage season has come to a close, and it was a good one this year with many eight car trains filled with passengers leaving the station for a ride through Crawford Notch and beyond to Fabyans. We have dropped back now to weekend service only, where the 11:30 train to Bartlett and the 1:30 train to Conway will continue to operate through to the end of December.
At the end of October each year, the company hosts a dinner for employees to celebrate the end of the traditional warm weather season. I like to report on some of the accomplishments of the past year at these gatherings, and I thought that I would share the list with you as well. In no particular order, this is a list of things that were done at the railroad over the past 12 months:
1) 1) GP7 #573 received 4 new power assemblies, a new oil pump and a rebuilt 36” cooling fan.
2) 2) The ‘Operation Lifesaver’ signs on both sides of #573 were replaced with new vinyl.
3) 3) Open car #1308 and closed cars 6739, 6743 & 6745 all had their floors painted gray. This was a first for the 6700 cars and was a nice improvement.
4) 4) The Station received several new sections of flooring which were stained to match the old flooring and then the floor received its annual two coats of polyurethane.
5) 5) Parlor Car GERTRUDE EMMA had a large wooden end sill replaced & roof and window work done along with a refreshing of her lettering and striping.
6) 6) GP9 #1751 had a complete set of coil springs installed in the rear truck (which required lifting of the locomotive with a crane). We also changed out all sixteen fuel injectors and replaced one of the overhead 36″ cooling fans. This unit also received a donated set of brand new, five-chime Nathan air horns.
7) 7) GP35 #216 received a replacement starting battery and two new bearings in its auxiliary generator.
8) 8) Both the Roundhouse and the Freight House in North Conway were painted (there are still some areas on the Roundhouse that need to be finished, but it is much improved).
9) 9) 600 ties were installed in the Conway Line.
10 10) CARROLL P REED received a brand new tier 4 compliant AC generator.
11) Dining Car HATTIE EVANS, Dome Car DORTHEA MAE, and First Class Car CARROLL P. REED had substantial upgrades to their generator control systems.
12) Open car #1557 had a lot of woodwork done on its roof.
13) We hauled ballast to Crawford Depot and then lined and surfaced 1000′ of track there.
14) Caboose 75955 was re-sided and painted and had work done to its brake system.
15) The rear hy-rail gear on truck #204 was completely rebuilt.
Of course there were 1001 other things that were done, too, but these are the things that come to mind.
Along with these accomplishments goes a long list of all the day-to-day things that need to be done to keep this railroad running safely, such as twice-weekly track inspections and the correcting of defects that those inspections disclose. Daily patrols ahead of the Notch Train, brake shoe change-outs and bearing oiling, adding make-up oil to the crankcases of our locomotives, daily watering of the cars and the dumping of the holding tanks….stuff like that. Tons of work goes on here every day, and we have a great staff that does the work. My sincere thanks goes out to them and to you for coming to ride our railroad!
I hope to see you on the platform at North Conway very soon!
Keep it safe,