Snow Train to North Conway

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Snow Train to North Conway

Postby NS VIA FAN » Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:05 pm

Now wouldn't this have been a fun day!.....45 years ago this weekend:
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Re: Snow Train to North Conway

Postby TomNelligan » Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:40 pm

Those excursions sponsored by the Massachusetts Bay RRE ran every February for many years, until the upper end of the branch went out of service. Here's the 1969 edition at North Conway station. I remember that I had to wade through knee-deep snow to get this shot!!
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Re: Snow Train to North Conway

Postby Noel Weaver » Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:46 pm

I was among a bunch of friends from Connecticut who were lucky enough to get tickets for this memorable trip which was indeed the last such trip. The weren't sure they would be able to get to North Conway this day and had an alternative of North Bennington I think. I still have the trip guide/brochure from this in my collection. Among the VIPS on this one were John Barriger and E M Frimbo. Eight Budd cars with a GP-18 and GP-9 to pull them as they were concerned about snow and ice especially on the crossings. There was snow everywhere and it snowed all day too. I have the slides somewhere in my stuff.
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Re: Snow Train to North Conway

Postby Otto Vondrak » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:18 am

I thought I had read somewhere that the last "Snow Train" to North Adams was 1972? I could be wrong.

Is there anything preventing CSRR from running a "Ski Train" from North Adams to Attitash, since the line runs right past the parking lot alongside the highway? One thing I thought of was not enough people would justify operation of a train, but what fun would it be to ride the CSRR RDC from North Adams to Attitash for some special event! Someone mentioned to me that rails are used as a recreational corridor during the winter when CSRR isn't running trains.

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Re: Snow Train to North Conway

Postby TomNelligan » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:59 am

Otto Vondrak wrote:I thought I had read somewhere that the last "Snow Train" to North Adams was 1972?


I think you misread this. Noel was referring to the last ski train (and last fantrip of any kind) between Boston and North Conway in a blizzard in February 1972, not the sunny 1969 trip seen in my photo. The B&M abandoned the line north of Ossipee later that year and the sale to what became the Conway Scenic RR occurred in 1974. Following the end of the North Conway runs and into the 1980s the Mass Bay RRE ran various winter excursions to North Adams, Albany/Selkirk (I forget which), and Brattleboro.
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Re: Snow Train to North Conway

Postby highrail » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:34 pm

Otto,
North Conway...not North Adams. Attitash is along the line north of N. Conway. :)
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Re: Snow Train to North Conway

Postby Arborwayfan » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:44 pm

Otto, you could always grab 24 friends and ask to charter their Budd car: http://conwayscenic.com/778-2/. I don't see any restriction by season. Of course if they had to plow the line first they would probably want more money; and if the line up by Attitash is part of the snowmobile trail system they might not be allowed to, as someone has said.
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Re: Snow Train to North Conway

Postby Otto Vondrak » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:08 pm

Ugh, I typed too quickly and I meant North CONWAY. Thank you all.

Of course, adding to the confusion is now Budd RDC's are once again operating in North Conway and North Adams! :-D

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Re: Snow Train to North Conway

Postby Arborwayfan » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:46 am

This is a sort of related thought. What if the Conway branch had hung on? (Imagine a hypothetical couple of customers between Conway and the gravel pit, or in Conway itself). When the big outlets went in (late 80s?), we might have started to see seeing shopping specials at certain seasons of the year, and foliage specials. Now maybe we'd see them connecting with the DE. Competing with Rte 16 is maybe easier than competing with I-95 or I-93. Just a random thought about what could have happened, not a suggestion that anyone would try to rehab the abandoned lines and buy back the blocked part just south of Conway now.
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Re: Snow Train to North Conway

Postby b&m 1566 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:11 pm

There are no areas south of Conway that are blocked. The state owns from Conway/Albany town line south to rte 28 overpass in Ossipee (or there abouts). NHN owns south of that. With one minor exception in Madison. The B&M sold 1000 feet to a private person near Madison Station. Not sure if it's the same guy that purchased it from the railroad but the current owner today, owns the Silver Lake Railroad that operates out if Madison station.
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Re: Snow Train to North Conway

Postby Arborwayfan » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:58 pm

B&M, I guess I was confused. Is there a part that's physically blocked by piles of gravel or something stored by a business in Conway, or did I just imagine that I read that? Anyway, it'd take a lot of work to make the line work for anything heavier than speeders, I imagine.
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Re: Snow Train to North Conway

Postby b&m 1566 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:49 pm

You are correct the line is physically blocked with dirt as Coleman's does use the ROW as an access road. To my understanding, it’s just a hand shake agreement with the state and not actually leased to Coleman's, therefore they would have to vacate should an operator lease the line. It was about 6 to 8 years ago, when the Conway Scenic, considered opening the line to Coleman's so they could load the ballast cars directly at Coleman's; boy do I wish they followed through with that.
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Re: Snow Train to North Conway

Postby B&Mguy » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:17 pm

I admit that this is getting a little off the Snow Train topic, but has there been any recent developments on the Conway Branch being reopened between Ossipee Pit and Conway? I remember about 10 years ago, there seemed to be buzz about a gravel pit in Madison wanting rail service, and my 2007 NH Rail Trail guide from Branch Line Press stated that the corridor was listed as "having a high likelihood for the return of rail service". Is the NHN still potentially interested in heading north?
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Re: Snow Train to North Conway

Postby b&m 1566 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:06 pm

At the end of 2015 going into 2016 the state of NH was seeking a Request for Expressions of Interest for the Conway Branch and NHN did not file, nor did the Conway Scenic. Only some guy that doesn't have a railroad filed. So, at this point in time nothing is moving forward. The opportunity to get the ball rolling at the state level has come and gone. Coleman's who was a former customer of the B&M didn't even file and they could have; it was a chance for any operator or potential customer to express interest. It was the first move the state made, since the study was done back in 2004.
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