North Conway businessmen Carroll Reed and William Levy formed North Conway Depot Co. and purchased the former Boston & Maine station, roundhouse, turntable, freight house and underlying land from a local realty company. B&M retained ownership of the main track and passing track running through the station property.
Dwight Smith of Portland, ME, enters into discussions with Reed and Levy regarding the possible formation of a scenic tourist railroad operating from the North Conway station. With a handshake, an agreement was reached.
Many inquiries were made to officials of B&M seeking to buy the Conway-to-Intervale trackage. These were followed by multiple legal procedures and appeals relative to the eventual sale of the B&M tracks to North Conway Depot Co.
MAY 4, 1974
North Conway Depot Co. is dissolved; Levy, Reed and Smith incorporate Conway Scenic Railroad, Inc. An application is filed with the New Hampshire PUC to form and operate a railroad. A hearing is held, and approval is granted. Conway Scenic Railroad is born!
JULY 9, 1974
At long last, the B&M and CSRR to enter into a buy and sell agreement for the property. CSRR makes a down payment.
AUGUST 4, 1974
Conway Scenic Railroad runs its first revenue passenger train.
SEPTEMBER 6, 1974
An attorney for the Boston & Maine drives to North Conway and, in exchange for a CSRR check for the balance due, hands Dwight Smith the deed for the tracks and land between Conway and Intervale.
The parlor observation car “Gertrude Emma” is put into service. Built in 1898 by the Pullman Palace Company in Pullman, IL, the car was named after “Gee” Smith, wife of CSRR’s founder, in recognition of her contributions to the Railroad.
Russ Seybold is hired as President and General Manager of the Railroad and assumes the duty of managing daily operations and laying plans for future enhancements to the company’s mission.
Dining car service is introduced to the Railroad when the Chocorua enters daily service, providing lunch and dinner to patrons. Built by Pullman in 1929 and acquired in 1986, No. 2570 was restored and upgraded for full, prepared-to-order dining service.
New Hampshire awards the agreement to CSRR to operate State-owned tracks through Crawford Notch. The former Maine Central Mountain Division line requires a great deal of work to reactivate, but CSRR personnel meet the challenge with high hopes, seeing the opportunity to provide the public with an enhanced railroading experience.
December 17, 1994
Following extensive rehabilitation of the tracks between North Conway and Bartlett, the inaugural passenger train to Bartlett Village takes place during a beautiful snow storm. The late Councilman Raymond S. Burton was on hand to dedicate and commemorate the occasion, speaking from the platform of the Gertrude Emma to the enthusiastic crowd.
September 1, 1995
Following extensive rehabilitation of the tracks between Bartlett and Crawford Station, the inaugural passenger train runs from North Conway to Crawford on a beautiful, fall-like day. A luncheon and reception are held for railroad officials and area dignitaries.
The tracks between Crawford and Fabyan Station are restored, and Fall trips incorporate this new destination for the Notch Train excursions.
Numerous cars are purchased and placed into service on the Notch Train, including the CP Reed (1996), an open-air passenger car (1998), and Dorthea Mae (2001).
Russ and Dot Seybold purchase the remaining shares of the Railroad from their partners and enthusiastically carry on CSRR’s preservation efforts, while restoring and adding equipment in order to expand the visitor’s experience.
Dining car service is introduced on the Notch Train with the addition of the Hattie Evans, a Pullman Standard car that was purchased in 2008, then rehabilitated during the winter & spring of 2010.
August 28, 2011
Tropical Storm Irene slams into New Hampshire, leaving massive destruction in its wake, particularly in the White Mountains. Going into the region’s all-important Fall Foliage season, the Bartlett and Notch Train routes sustain heavy damage, and both Crawford Notch and the Kancamagus Highway are closed. Then-governor John H. Lynch tours the area by helicopter the following day and commits full State resources to re-opening these critical roadways and the rail line. The Kancamagus Highway and our route to Bartlett open on September 16th, and Crawford Notch and the Notch line open the following week.
August 4, 2014
CSRR celebrates its 40th anniversary!