Old Dobbin the horse is ready to haul these passengers of the Snow Train to ski areas in and about North Conway, about 1951. Photo by Winston Pote, from the Robert J. Girouard collection.
For nearly 90 years the station was a landmark for train travelers. Passengers, mail, express, and newspapers arrived and departed through the station. Snow trains began running in 1932 to the town that was home to the “birthplace of American skiing.” Countless skiers rode the snow trains as the sport of skiing grew with the development of ski lifts.
By the early 1950s, improved highways and America’s love affair with the automobile led to a decline in passenger service. Passenger service to Boston ended on December 2, 1961, as a single B & M Buddliner headed south never to return. Freight customers continued to decline, too, and the last freight train departed on October 30, 1972.
The station was boarded up and remained in general disrepair for several years after passenger service was terminated. Conway Scenic Railroad, Inc. was founded by local businessmen Carroll Reed (founder & owner of the Carroll Reed shops), Bill Levy (founder and owner of Yield House), and Dwight Smith (retired from B&M RR) who, along with many dedicated volunteers, restored this magnificent station. The railroad opened for business on August 4, 1974. to provide seasonal excursion train service in the Mount Washington Valley.