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February 2017

The Wheel Report

We had a great time at the Amherst Railway Society’s big Railroad & Hobby show during the last weekend of January. Attendance was 19,541 this year, down a bit from other years but still plenty of people to say hello to! We were selling the HO version of our RDC-1 the Millie, and we took orders for our new DVD, called Working on the Railroad. The DVD is in production right now and will be available for sale by the middle of this month.

Pictured here: Paul Hallett, Derek Palmieri, and Dee Logan

The new DVD is 52 minutes long and is a behind the scenes’ look at our operations, featuring interviews with staff and train crew, historic photos, and an overview of what’s gone into building this company since it opened in 1974. We’ll post on  Facebook when it’s ready, and you can call us to order one if you so desire. It was filmed in high definition, and the cost is $20.00 each for either Blu-Ray or standard DVD.

We are getting ready to send a team of our employees over to the Boothbay Railway Village shop in order to form a new door sheet for 7470’s firebox. This involves heating a flat sheet of boiler plate to 1600° F and then hammering it into shape by hand over a form. Once the door sheet has been formed it can be welded into place in the firebox. At that point we can begin to put the locomotive back together again.

Currently, Notch Train coach #6743 Mount Willey is in stall #2 for work that includes modifications to its air brake system. We are also repairing some of the bondo work that has come loose around the windows. The car will receive new paint when the body work is complete. The pride of the Valley Train fleet, Gertrude Emma, is in stall #1 where we have removed all of the window sashes for sanding and varnishing. We have done some work to one of her trucks and have tended to some other items. We have lots more car and locomotive work scheduled to be done before the maintenance season is over.

This year we sent a contingent of 3 people to Cleveland, Ohio, where they represented us at the American Bus Association convention (ABA). Sandy, Derek & Eric had a great time and came back with some good leads for new business. It takes a strong effort to get all of those motorcoaches to arrive here in the fall!

I came across an old file in the office the other day labelled ‘Turn table – No Conway – 11-20-1940’. This caught my interest.  Further information – 85’ American Bridge – Deck.  E type center 18” wheels, built 1926, No 972.  In the file was more information. “This is the turntable removed from Brunswick because of generally poor condition for heavy loading. Top flange angles were repaired, and the table was installed at North Conway, at request of operating department to turn snow plows.  Has been used once in two winters.” This information didn’t coincide with what I know about our turntable such as a different builders date, etc. I showed the file to Jimmy Moore, and he at once said that was information about the turntable located on the other side of town on the Maine Central (“from Brunswick” should have been a clue!) I have been in that turntable pit which lies alongside the track over on the North/South Road and now I know some more about what was once there. You do, too!

That’s all for now. Thank you for your interest in and support of the Conway Scenic Railroad.