Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Postby gokeefe » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:29 am

He also took the time to answer a lot of questions that have come up recently in this thread.

Of interest:

Q . Why does the FRA have to approve a move beyond Hazen’s?
A. Conway Scenic’s territory runs from MP 56 in Redstone to MP 101 at Hazen’s plus all of the former B & M track that is located in the town of Conway. All of this track is in ‘Limited Jurisdiction’ status as far as the FRA is concerned, meaning that only some of the FRA’s rules apply. This automatically means that we are not a common carrier and, even though we have a physical connection, we are NOT a part of the “general system of railroads in the United States.” The New Hampshire Central Railroad IS a common carrier and is a part of the general system and is subject to the ‘full boat’ of FRA regulations. Therefore, we needed authorization to venture out onto the general system. FRA graciously took no exception to our making this special move provided that we met certain requirements.


Fascinating and not the answer I would have expected ...
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Postby MEC407 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:20 am

Paul always does a great job with the Wheel Report and this month's issue is one of the best yet. Paul, if you're reading this, THANK YOU! :-D
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Postby BandA » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:29 pm

Dare I ask...what are the differences between full FRA regulation & limited regulation?
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Postby gokeefe » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:40 pm

BandA wrote:Dare I ask...what are the differences between full FRA regulation & limited regulation?


See this.

When reading through the decision tree Conway Scenic is a "non-insular".
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Postby Knucklehead » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:18 pm

First, please excuse my lack of knowledge about this area, I am more familiar with southern New England lines. I am not sure if this is the correct thread for this question.

I have a question regarding the line that runs from North Conway to Portland - Does the line get a lot of use? I noticed that it has fairly hefty-sized rail, and what appears to be excellent grade crossing devices, however, the rails looked a bit rusty like they may not see many trains.

I was in North Conway as my wife surprised me with a ride on the Notch train Saturday. It was a beautiful day!

The Conway Scenic is truly an impressive and professional operation! And the lunch on the train was great!
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Postby 690 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:47 pm

Spots that the State of New Hampshire has upgraded (mainly grade crossings, but also some of the track on the Mountain Division by Artists Falls) is 115lb rail, but the majority of the track is 85lb. No trains regularly run between North Conway and Portland (it's physically not possible), but the Conway Scenic does run down to Redstone on Railfan's Day.
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Postby Knucklehead » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:02 pm

Thank you for the info!
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Postby b&m 1566 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:23 pm

If you drove on North South Road, the section right along the tracks is newer. Back in 2000 - 2003 the state built that road in what is part of a multi phased highway project (currently on hold) aimed at relocating rte 16/302 entirely around the shopping district. This road required the tracks to be removed and moved over to make room for the road. When that section was rebuilt, lights and gates were installed (no idea why) and I believe this section also received 115# rail. This rebuilt section was nessary to keep the corridor intact but there's only a few trains a year on it. As mention before east of Redstone (a village of Conway) the line is out of service all the way to Westbrook, ME which includes about a mile or two of rail missing after Guilford pulled up about five miles of track back in the early 2000's. About 5 years ago the state of ME rebuild about 3 to 4 of those miles but didn't have the money to complete it, since some of it went toward raising a bridge to add clearence on the road underneath (the new bridge is in the section without any rail). I hope this little blurp gives you and idea and helps answer some questions.
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Postby MEC407 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:50 am

More information about the Mountain Division — which includes the line from Portland to North Conway — can be found here:

The Maine Central Railroad Mountain Division

The Portland to Westbrook portion of the line, still owned and operated by Pan Am Railways, is referred to as the Mountain Branch by Pan Am. More info here:

Activity on the Mountain Branch
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Postby eustis22 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:25 pm

>aimed at relocating rte 16/302 entirely around the shopping district

Um..WHERE around it, please? Westside Road or the Cranmore side of 16?
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Postby b&m 1566 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:10 pm

Cranmore side, if I can find the link I will post it.
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Postby flyingfox10 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:34 pm

Maine Central upgraded rhe rail from Sawyers to Crawfords from 85 lb rail to 100 lb rail.
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Postby flyingfox10 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:40 pm

To answer more, CSRR still had to do and keep up on all FRA inspections and regulations, and they do. Everything from servicing of engines, cars, etc. To inspecting its track is all FRA compliant. I have no idea who started the rumor of they can ignore FRA inspections, but that is drastically false.
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Postby flyingfox10 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:46 pm

MEC407 wrote:
b&m 1566 wrote:Note: the bell on 252 is now back in its original spot (under the cab fireman's side). The one above the engineers window is now just a dummy, I would assume the dummy bell will be removed at some point? Does anybody know when this was done?


I would hope that they'd leave the old bell in place rather than remove it. It looks cool and it doesn't harm anything by being there.

Arkansas & Missouri Railroad ordered their SD70ACe locomotives with electronic bells in the usual location, but they also have polished brass bells between the number boards, as is tradition on that railroad. They look really nice.


252 once had the bell in front of the engineer. However it was moved back under the cab to stop driving the engineers crazy, and prevent literal ringing in their ears.
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Postby 690 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:56 am

Interestingly enough, it seems to be largely the Conway Scenic engineers that found it annoying. Several Guilford/Pan Am engineers I've asked about it said they barely noticed it being louder than below the frame, while obviously the Conway Scenic crews have noticed it to be "much louder". I wonder if that's because it has a brass bell on the CSRX, or if the engine isn't working as hard as it was on freight (and thus not making as much noise), making the bell easier to hear.
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