We all say it, but it is so true – Where has the summer gone? The kids are back to school now, and we have a couple of weeks to catch our breath and make our preparations for the Fall Foliage season.
The work continues every day on our latest addition to the passenger fleet, table car #6749. I am amazed at what the Conway Scenic Railroad shop staff is capable of accomplishing. I shouldn’t be amazed though, because I have seen it before, when the Hattie Evans was built up from an empty shell (a very good solid empty shell) into the beautiful dining car that it is today. Now the crew is doing it again; creating a special car that will have a ‘wow’ factor when you first step into it.
From the outside it will look pretty much like the other 6700 cars in the fleet except that we opted for large fixed pieces of non-opening window glass in place of the sliding windows that the other cars have. This car will be air-conditioned so opening windows aren’t needed and the larger glass area will offer better viewing of the passing scenery. One side of one end of the car will be what they call a ‘blind end’; no steps or passenger access there and it will blanked off because that space is need for some of the mechanical equipment.
The big difference between this car and its sisters, of course, is the interior. Once again the guys have outdone themselves with all of the superb oak woodwork. The window trim, the booths and the other finishing details are all done in oak. The old washroom in this car has been completely gutted and replaced with new stainless steel walls and new fixtures. The entire interior of this car has been replaced from floor to ceiling. #6749 will be a wonderful addition to the Notch Train! The addition of this car to the fleet will allow us to regularly operate a nine car Notch Train for the first time in CSRR history. Come on over and check it out this fall!
We expect to run steam locomotive #7470 this fall beginning on Railfans’ Weekend, Saturday, September 13 and through about October 5. If the locomotive performs well in the Fall then she will be out again in January for one last Steam in the Snow train on January 3. We will keep you posted on how she does.
We have to reduce the number of operating days in the Fall because our waiver from FRA is for only 31 additional operating days during the six month period from July 7, 2014 to January 7, 2015. We used 5 of those days in August when we ran the locomotive in celebration of the company’s 40th birthday. We are delighted to have the chance to operate the locomotive again this Fall, and the January operation will be her last one before the engine comes out of service for what we are estimating to be about two years.
The bridge inspector has been working on the Crawford Notch Line, and he reports that we are under-utilizing our bridges! We are putting only about a quarter of a million gross tons over them per year and they are good for way more than that! Seriously though, he reports that they are all in great condition and nothing other than normal upkeep needs to be done at this time.
Fall foliage is a beautiful time here in the Mount Washington Valley, and there is no better way to see it than by riding a Conway Scenic Railroad passenger train! Come and join us! Don’t forget that Railfans’ Weekend is coming right up on September 13 & 14.
Thank you for your interest in and support of the Conway Scenic Railroad.
Keep it Safe.