As I write this, we have a yard job working in North Conway with locomotive #1751 out doing some switching. We are working on our annual passenger car maintenance, and it was necessary to move some cars around. It sure is nice to hear traffic on the radio and see movement in the yard!
We’re sad to announce the recent loss of yet another long-time crew member, Trainman Dave Baker. He was an avid fisherman and had just arrived at his favorite fishing hole on Easter afternoon when he collapsed and died of a heart attack. Our heart-felt condolences to his wife Julie, son Dave and his family, as well as all the friends that he made here over the years.
Our Federal Track Inspector was here two weeks ago, and we hy-railed from Conway to Notchland. He will be back shortly, and we will go from Notchland to Fabyan at that time. Next week the FRA Motive Power & Equipment Inspector will be here to look at our locomotives and cars. During the first week in May, another FRA Inspector who specializes in steam will be here to inspect the interior of 7470’s boiler. We have been busy preparing for these inspections, and we trust that all will go well.
Coach 6745 was hauled out of the shop the other day, resplendent in new paint! It was shining as bright as a newly minted penny! We plan on putting 6745 on the Spring Valley train so we can start enjoying it right away. The guys did their usual first class work on this restoration. No sooner was 6745 out than 573 went into stall one, where we are working on her airbrakes and doing a 92 day inspection. As soon as 573 comes out, we will cycle all of the other locomotives through the shop for whatever work is required.
Stall II still holds the Notch Train’s open sided car #1308. We are finishing up the work on this car and hope to get it outside soon so that we can free up that stall for other work that needs to be done. I am not sure at this point, but I think there is a strong possibility that dining car Chocorua will go in there next for some needed maintenance.
At the station, we have applied a new coat of polyurethane to the floor, and this year we put a new coat of red deck paint on the ticket office floor too. The station gets at least one coat of poly each year in the spring, but the ticket office doesn’t get a coat but every five years or so. The tower clock has been oiled and adjusted and is ready for its 142nd year of time keeping for the village of North Conway, NH.
We are in the process of purchasing another hy-rail equipped pickup truck to replace our #203. #203 is a 1993 Chevy utility body truck, and it has close to 300,000 miles on it! We are replacing it with another Chevy utility body truck only this one is a 2003 model with barely 250,000 miles on it! The new truck has a replacement engine, a rebuilt transmission and rebuilt hy-rail gear, so it should serve us well for many years to come. This will be our first pick-up style truck that has hydraulic hy-rail gear. We are catching up to modern times! The new truck will be numbered 205 and will also be the first one in the fleet to be white instead of chrome yellow.
Opening day is coming right up on Saturday, April 16, and it will be good to see the rust begin to disappear from the rail heads. I hope to see many of you on the platform or in the yard very soon.
As always we thank you for your interest in and support of the Conway Scenic Railroad.
Keep it Safe.