The Dorthea Mae Dome car.

Conway Scenic Railroad
The Conway Scenic Railroad (reporting mark CSRX) is a heritage railway in North Conway, New Hampshire, United States, owned and operated by Profile Mountain Holdings Corp. The railroad operates over two historic railway routes: a line from North Conway to Conway that was formerly part of the Conway Branch of the Boston and Maine Railroad, and a line from North Conway through Crawford Notch to Fabyan that was once part of the Mountain Division of the Maine Central Railroad. The Conway line is owned by Conway Scenic, and the Mountain Division is owned by the State of New Hampshire.

The railroad's main terminal is located in historic downtown North Conway in the Mount Washington valley. The station complex has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979.

History
Conway Scenic Railroad was founded by local businessmen Bill Levy and Carroll Reed and a Boston and Maine Railroader named Dwight Smith. They purchased the abandoned station and rail line from Conway to Intervale (7 miles) from the Boston and Maine in 1974. Smith bought Canadian National 7470 and the first train was run on August 4, 1974.

In 1984, the Mountain Division was abandoned, and for ten years the Conway Scenic was insulated without a connection to the wider United States rail network, until 1994 when they obtained an operating lease from the state of New Hampshire, who had purchased the line from the Maine Central the year before. On December 17, 1994, the first train to Bartlett was run, with operations through Crawford Notch starting in September 1995. The first train to Fabyan Station was run in September 1996. Expansions east to Redstone (a village in Conway) and west to Hazen Road in Whitefield were added in June 1998, but those two points have only been used for special runs.

The original owners were bought out by husband and wife Russ and Dot Seybold in 1999. On January 30, 2018 Russ and Dot Seybold closed on the sale of the railroad to Profile Mountain Holdings Corp.

Operations
The railroad operates excursions of varying duration under two banners - the "Valley Train" which runs either south to Conway (55-minute round trip) or west to Bartlett (1¾-hour round trip), and the "Notch Train" covering the line through Crawford Notch. The Valley Train excursions include the dining car Chocorua, the 1898 open-deck Pullman observation car Gertrude Emma, an open-air car, and several restored heavyweight coaches, some dating back to the 1920s. The Notch Train service is typically a 5-hour round trip to Crawford Depot (located at the height of land in Crawford Notch), but is extended to 5½ hours during the fall foliage season when the train travels all the way to Fabyan Station, located near Bretton Woods in the town of Carroll. The Notch Train includes an open-air car (Silver Cascade No. 1308), a vista dome car (Dorthea Mae), a first-class car (Carroll P. Reed), and commuter coaches retired from the Montreal commuter pool. In 2010, a restored dining car built as N&W Powhatan Arrow 492 in 1950, and now named Hattie Evans, was added to the train. Annual special events at the railroad include Day out with Thomas, a railfan day on the first Saturday of September, Polar Express-themed trips during December, and a "Steam in the Snow" (or "Covered Wagon in the Snow" when the steam locomotive is not available) photographer's special in early January sponsored by the Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts.

Special freight operation
On June 20, 2009, a 20-axle Schnabel car was brought down through Crawford Notch carrying a 227-ton transformer for  Public Service of New Hampshire, an electrical utility company. It was the first scheduled freight train through Crawford Notch since September 3, 1983, the first freight train of any kind since October 1984, and the first and only revenue freight move for the Conway Scenic to date.

Locomotive roster
Active units

Number: 573

Builder: EMD
Type: GP7
Build date: 1950
Status: Operational
Notes: Ex-Maine Central unit acquired from Guilford Rail System. Typically referred to as "Mr. Miller's Engine", 573 was the preferred power for the Maine Central business train by the president of the Maine Central Railroad, E. Spencer Miller. 573 led the last business train through Crawford Notch (St. Johnsbury to Portland) shortly before Guilford closed the line in 1984. When Guilford acquired the Delaware and Hudson Railway in 1984, 573 became Delaware & Hudson 573. In 1988 when Guilford sold the D&H, they kept 573 and assigned it to Springfield Terminal and renumbered it 27. 573's first season at the Conway Scenic (1996) was operated as number 27. Today 573 is the typical motive power for Valley Train excursions.
4266 EMD F7A 1949 Operational An ex-Boston & Maine unit leased from the 470 Railroad Club of Portland, Maine. This locomotive was the last "F unit" to operate on the Boston & Maine Railroad in 1976. Today the engine serves as backup power for both the Valley Train and the Notch Train.

Number: 23

Builder: Budd Company
Type: RDC-1
Build date: 1952
Status: Operational
Notes: AKA "Millie"; the only fully operational RDC in New Hampshire. Originally built for the New Haven Railroad. Purchased from the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway in the summer of 2008; used to provide Valley Train services during the off-peak season and private charters.

Number: 252

Builder: EMD
Type: GP38
Build date: 1966
Status: Operational
Notes: Acquired in a trade from Pan Am Railways in March 2010. An ex-Boston and Maine, exx-Maine Central unit, 252 was the leading unit that pulled the last regularly scheduled freight train through Crawford Notch on September 3, 1983. In the late 1980s 252 was put into storage until 1995 when it was taken out, refurbished and assigned to the B&M. 252 was retired by Pan Am in December 2009. On June 23, 2010, this engine was delivered to the Conway Scenic at Hazens in the town of Whitefield and ran from there to North Conway under its own power. On July 13, 2010, Kurt Ward, a resident of Conway and a former Conway Scenic employee (2000), was killed in a railroad accident while working at Pan Am Railways East Deerfield Yard in East Deerfield, Massachusetts. Because Kurt Ward worked extensively with this engine, on July 28, 2010, the Conway Scenic named 252 in his honor.

Number: 216

Builder: EMD
Type: GP35
Build date: 1965
Notes: Acquired in a trade from Pan Am Railways in March 2010. Ex-Springfield Terminal 216, Exx-Norfolk Southern 1328, Exxx-Norfolk and Western 1328. 216 has been assigned to the Notch Train along with 252 and is expected to operate on a rotating schedule with 252. The engine has dual controls in the cab and can be operated from either side. 216 was delivered on May 14, 2010, and made its inaugural run June 22, 2010. Keeping with Maine Central tradition, 216 and 252 are often referred to as the "Yellow Birds".

Number: 1751

Builder: EMD
Type: GP9
Build date: 1956
Status: Operational
Notes: This unit was acquired in a trade from the Finger Lakes Railway in November 2011. The unit was delivered along with No. 1757 on September 22, 2012.

Inoperable units

Number: 7470

Builder: Grand Trunk Railway - Point St. Charles Shops
Type: Steam, 0-6-0, CN O-18-a
Build date: 1921
Status: Out of service
Notes: 7470 is the only active coal-fired standard gauge steam locomotive in New Hampshire. This engine was originally built in 1921 by the Grand Trunk Railway as No. 1795, which was absorbed by the Canadian National Railways two years later as No. 7470. 7470 began operation on the Conway Scenic with the railroad's inception in 1974, and until the early 1990s its number was abbreviated as No. 47. Primarily used to power the Conway-bound Valley Trains during the autumn seasons (Railfans Weekend in September - Columbus Day), there have been special excursions such as the annual "Steam in the Snow" to Notchland Inn that typically takes place the weekend after New Years Day and trips through Crawford Notch (last notch run was in July 2011). 7470 used to operate during the summer months but that ended in 2007 (excluding special excursions) with the addition of "Day Out with Thomas" event. With the FRA-mandated 15-year boiler inspection due and now underway, 7470 made its last run on January 3, 2015. 7470 is expected to return to service in the spring of 2019, once the inspection and re-certification of its boiler is complete.

Number: 1757

Builder: EMD
Type: GP9
Build date: 1956
Status: Display
Notes: Owned by the 470 Railroad Club, this ex-New Hampshire Northcoast unit is slated to become the donor unit for the ex-BM No. 4268. This unit was delivered on September 22, 2012, along with the 1751. In September 2016 this unit was started up for the first time since arriving at the Conway Scenic and was left idling for a couple of hours behind the roundhouse. This engine has never turned a wheel under its own power for the Conway Scenic. Once all usable parts are transferred to the 4268, the shell of this engine is expected to be scrapped.

Number: 501

Builder: Alco
Type: Steam, 2-8-0
Build date: 1910
Status: Display/Pending engineering study for a possible restoration
Notes: Originally built for the Maine Central Railroad, this engine was the last steam engine to run on the Mountain Division in 1953. Currently owned by the 470 Railroad Club, this was under restoration to operate on the Conway Scenic, but the plan was stopped in 2007 after work stalled out about six years before. The engine is on display next to the turntable and has undergone a cosmetic restoration. In an article written by the Conway Daily Sun dated April 13, 2018, ownership of the Conway Scenic stated that they were going to consider looking into purchasing the 501 from the 470 RR Club, in an effort to restore it back to operation, so the railroad could have two operating steam locomotives again (see info on No. 108). Management said an engineering firm would be hired to assess the condition of the engine, before moving forward with anything else.

Number: 4268

Builder: EMD
Type: F7A
Build date: 1949
Status: Restoration
Notes: An ex-Boston and Maine unit, exx-EMD Demonstration unit No. 930 now owned by the 470 Railroad Club, 4268 had been undergoing a cosmetic restoration, when in December 2011 the 470 Railroad Club announced their intentions to return this unit to full service. Since all that remains is the shell, a donor unit was purchased in November 2011. Ex-New Hampshire Northcoast GP9 - No. 1757 (retired a few years prior) will be the donor unit. On April 17, 2018, the engine was removed from its long-time display spot near the freight house and moved into stall 3 of the round house to start the restoration. The 470 Railroad Club hopes to have the engine up and running in time for Railfans Weekend in September 2018.

Number: 360

Builder: General Electric
Type: 44-tonner
Status: Display
Notes: Owned by the State of New Hampshire; lettered for New Hampshire Central. This engine, which arrived on property in June 2005, is for sale. 360 is only on property for safe storage and has never been in operation for the Conway Scenic.

Former units

Number: 1943

Builder: General Electric
Type: B23-7
Build date: 1978
Notes: Originally owned by Conrail, this locomotive was slotted to take over regular Notch Train duties from the "sisters" when its overhaul was complete. Although the engine made many test runs, it never made it into regular service due to ongoing electrical issues. In November 2011, this unit along with 2820 was traded to the Finger Lakes Railway for Finger Lakes GP9 unit No. 1751 and was shipped out soon after.

Number: 2820

Builder: General Electric
Type: U23B
Build date: 1975
Notes: Originally owned by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, this locomotive ran in 2006 and 2007 before suffering a broken crankshaft. In November 2011, this unit along with 1943 was traded to the Finger Lakes Railway for Finger Lakes GP9 unit No. 1751 and was shipped out soon after.

Number: 6505/6516

Builder: GMD
Type: FP9s
Build date: 1954/1957
Notes: A pair of ex-Canadian National units, nicknamed "the Sisters". These locomotives were acquired from Via Rail and were delivered to the Conway Scenic on August 14, 1995. The locomotives were the primary motive power for Notch Train excursions starting on September 16, 1995, with 6516 entering into service working the notch as a powerless unit (became powered in 1998) with ex-B&M 4266. 6505 entered full operational service on September 23, 1996, and would remain like that until August 2006 when service was taken over by 2820. The Sisters worked the last few weeks of the 2006 Notch Train season but would not turn a wheel again till September 2007 when the 2820 suffered a broken crankshaft. From that point on the Sisters remained the primary power through the 2009 season. In March 2010, the locomotives were traded to Pan Am Railways for 252 and 216 to become the motive power for Pan Am's business train. 6505, which last operated on October 18, 2009, was shipped out on May 14, 2010, and had its inaugural run with Pan Am Railways on July 1, 2010, under its new number "PAR 1". 6516, which last operated on May 31, 2010, was shipped out on July 7, 2010, running the engine under its own power for the final time through Crawford Notch. 6516 rejoined "PAR 1" and became "PAR 2", having its inaugural run with Pan Am Railways on August 1, 2010. The sisters were seen together for the ceremonial kick-off for the Downeaster track work extension in Brunswick, Maine, on August 2, 2010.

Number: 1055

Builder: Alco
Type: S-4
Build date: 1950
Notes: An ex-Portland Terminal Company unit. This locomotive provided backup power for Valley Train excursions and was the railroad's main diesel engine for the Valley excursions until the arrival of 573 in 1996. 1055 was sold to the Downeast Scenic Railroad (DSRX) on April 9, 2010, and was shipped out on May 14, 2010.

Number: 15

Builder: General Electric
Type: 44-tonner
Build date: 1945
Notes: An ex-Maine Central unit, this engine last operated in October 2005 during Railfans Weekend. 15 used to serve as the primary engine for the MOW crew and was the first diesel engine to operate on the Conway Scenic. The unit was sold in December 2010 to the Southern Prairie Railway in Ogema, Saskatchewan, and was shipped out on a flatbed truck on June 14, 2011. The engine arrived at its new home 7 days later.

Number: 108

Builder: Baldwin
Type: Steam, 2-6-2
Build date: 1920
Notes: Originally "San Augustine County Lumber Company" No. 108; later became Angelina and Neches River Railroad #108 until 1954, when it was sold to the Reader Railroad. Acquired from the Reader Railroad in 1976, 108 operated on the Conway Scenic from 1977 to 1986, when it was retired due to mechanical issues and the engine being too small to pull on steep grades. 108 sat on display in North Conway until 1999, when it was sold to Rannoch Corporation, who moved it back to its home state of Texas, where it was stored on the Blacklands Railroad and disassembled. One of the last times 108 was seen in operation was when it pulled ex-MEC 501 out of the roundhouse on Railfans Weekend in September 1986. Now owned by Robbins Rail Museum of Alabama, 108 still resides in Texas in pieces.

Conway Scenic Railroad Overview
Locale: White Mountains region of New Hampshire
Connections: New Hampshire Central Railroad
Commercial operations
Built by: Portland, Great Falls and Conway Railroad; Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad
Original gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Preserved operations
Owned by: Profile Mountain Holdings Corp; Mountain Division right-of-way owned by the State of New Hampshire
Operated by: Conway Scenic Railroad
Reporting mark: CSRX
Length: 51 miles (82 km)
Preserved gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Commercial history
1872: Opened

1875: Mountain Division is completed and connected.
1890: Boston and Maine Corporation acquires the Conway Branch.
1972: Conway Branch abandoned north of Ossipee.
1983: Mountain Division abandoned.
Closed: 1972
Preservation history
August 4, 1974: Started
1994: Mountain Division operations begin.
Headquarters: North Conway, NH
Address: 38 Norcross Circle, PO Box 1947, North Conway, NH 03860
Phone: 1-800-232-5251 or 603-356-5251
Email: info@conwayscenic.com
Website: https://www.conwayscenic.com/

See also:

Railroads of the U.S.A.

Conway Scenic Railroad No. 4266 is an EMD F7A that was built in 1950. It is an ex-Boston and Maine unit leased from the 470 Railroad Club of Portland, Maine. This locomotive serves as backup power for both the Valley Train and the Notch Train. Taken on July 20, 2009. 

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The Dorthea Mae Dome car. Built by the Budd Company in 1954 for Great Northern Railway Empire Builder service. Later used on Amtrak, Alaska Railroad, and Cape Cod Railroad. Acquired by Conway Scenic Railroad in 1998 and placed into service on the Notch Train in 2001.  By Ron Reiring - originally posted to Flickr as Dorthea Mae Dome car, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8790096

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Conway Scenic Railroad No. 4266 is an EMD F7A that was built in 1950.

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