We are eagerly looking forward to opening day which is rapidly approaching! Over at the Roundhouse, the very last work on the new concrete floor has just taken place, and we are calling that project complete. It really is a different building now, kind of like going from a barn with a dirt floor to a modern garage. We have preserved the exterior appearance of the 1874 built building, but now it is much more ‘user friendly’ inside. Any time we want to remember what it used to look like all we have to do is open the interior door between stalls #2 and #3, and we are transported right back to 1874 again since only stalls #1 and #2 received the new floor. It’s kind of like Dorothy opening the door to Munchkinland only in reverse! As a busy Heritage Railroad, we have lots of maintenance work to do, and now we have a great place to do it in.
Right now GP35 #216 is in stall #1 for a ninety-two day inspection. This locomotive is in very good condition and is a favorite of our Notch Train crews. We replaced about 200 feet of low-voltage wiring in the electrical cabinet with new wire. The Achilles Heel of older diesel electric locomotives is the breaking down of electrical insulation on wires that were installed so long ago. Our oldest operating diesel unit has been around for 65 years! We do our best to keep up with the problem. #216 will be rolling out of the shop soon, and we will bring GP38 #252 in next for her turn over the new pit.
The Carroll P Reed continues to occupy stall #2. The crew has spent a tremendous amount of time on this First Class car this winter, mostly working on the exterior car body. The car will be receiving new flooring along the center aisle and in the snack bar area, and we still have one wheel set to change once we get her outside.
Our newest car, the Mt. Webster, is now occupying stall #3 of the roundhouse and is receiving all kinds of work for transformation into a 58 seat ‘table car.’ This will increase the size of our active fleet of cars to 15. The car will be equipped with air-conditioning, and one side of the car will have tables for four, then directly across the aisle will be tables for two. This will result in a larger center aisle. The car will be restroom equipped, and the interior will be oak trimmed in the same fashion as the Chocorua, Hattie Evans, and the Carroll P Reed. We are referring to the car as “coach plus” seating. It will be an upgrade from coach because of the A/C and other amenities. We plan to run it between the Dorthea Mae and the Mt. Bemis on the Notch Train where it will be the transition car between coach and first class. We hope to have the car in service by mid-September.
Our new, redesigned brochure celebrating our 40th anniversary year has hit the distribution racks, so be sure to pick one up. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and request that one be sent to you.
We are looking forward to seeing the rails emerge from the snow and ice so that we can begin operating again! As always we THANK YOU for your interest and support of the Conway Scenic Railroad.
Keep it Safe.