• Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

  by Drewby27
 
Rail has been removed all the way to Oxbow Rd in Littleton as of now, and I believe they intend to remove the rails up to Wing Rd in Bethlehem. I am not sure if they are going any farther than that.
  by shadyjay
 
85# rail going in on the Mountain Division? That doesn't sound very heavy to me, especially with the larger locomotives the CSRR runs on it. Would think they'd want to go with at least 107#, but free rail is free rail, I guess!
  by S1f3432
 
The Mountain Subdivision is laid with 85 lb rail except for 100 lb from Sawyers River to Crawfords
and Lunenberg to St. Johnsbury. If a broken rail were to occur compatible size rail is needed for
replacement. At the end of Maine Central operating the line in 1982-3 85 much of the rail was relay
which had been cropped to 33 feet. Most of the breaks occurring were bolt hole fractures at the end
of the rail so when a section crew had collected 11 broken rails they were cropped back to 30 feet
and installed end to end to replace 10 33-footers which could then be used to replace future breaks.
Full length 39 foot 85 lb was nonexistent on MEC for replacement purposes. The section foreman at
Whitefield used this same method to extent the 100 lb eastward from Lunenburg to Scotts by
scavenging broken 100 lb rails from the E. St Johnsbury section crew. The last time the Sperry Car
ran it took 6 days to go the length of the subdivision- on the 85 they averaged more than 100 defects
per mile, resulting in 10 mph slow orders until repaired.
  by Arborwayfan
 
The Wing Road crossing is paved over and marked Exempt, so it wouldn't surprise me if they took out the rail on the Littleton side of it, and maybe for some distance on the Whitefield side of it, too. The rail was still there as of a couple of weeks ago when I drove by, though.

I had a look at the tracks in Whitefield, which looked to be in decent shape (the ex B&M tracks, I mean; the ex MEC tracks are all overgrown.
  by Who
 
Technically from Wing Rd to the diamond it's not abandoned (yet) and I'm almost certain New Hampshire Central, still holds a lease to that section. But make no mistake about it, the rail trail advocates have their eyes set on linking the Presidential Rail Trail and Ammonoosuc Rail Trail. Infact I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Waumbek Junction to Quebec Junction is rebuilt, to allow the rail-trail to go in between Hazen's and Waumbek. I'm not saying it's going to happen; I'm just saying I wouldn't be surprised.
  by NHV 669
 
The abandonment only covers to C119 which is between the current end of track and the log operation on the long straightaway. NHCR is definitely still listed as operator for that section.
  by CSRR573
 
Any Updates with the CSRR's proposal to Maine DOT about their use of the Mountain Division?
  by Goddraug
 
The Maine house and senate passed LD 404 to begin the preliminary process of planning the removal of the Mountain Division from Westbrook to Fryeburg. There's still a few things outstanding before that can go anywhere, and from what I can gather the Conway Scenic Railroad is still interested in it. A few people, myself included, are looking to meet with CSRR and further discuss things in the coming weeks (since they've met with a few rail advocates already). There's not much more I can say, don't want to give either hope or despair without knowing more.
Last edited by MEC407 on Sat Aug 12, 2023 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by b&m 1566
 
It's unbelievable, the whole point of the state purchasing the ROW, was to preserve it for future railroad use. They now have a railroad asking to use the tracks and the politicians are saying no thanks.
It's clear Maine is not interested, and if the Conway Scenic is really serious about expansion, they should refocus their efforts on the Conway Branch and forget about Maine. There's grass roots efforts taking place in Ossipee, to convert the ROW into a rail trail. They already have support from local business like Hobbs Brewery and town government but don't have any support at the state level (yet); if the railroad acts now, they can get a head of the rail trail movement before it gains momentum, like has happened in Maine.
  by Goddraug
 
That’s seriously concerning if that’s the case. That means that there are trail people targeting the Conway Branch, Mt. Division east to Portland, and Mt. Division west to St. Johnsbury. Conway Scenic Railroad is dangerously close to being cut off from any type of expansion, with New Hampshire Central truly being their only connection to the rest of the nation. I’ll be sure to bring that up when I go attend the meeting.
  by BandA
 
Having CSRX run to maine would be a boon to tourism in Maine! Why don't they consider rail + trail??? They need to think longer than 10 years
  by CN9634
 
b&m 1566 wrote: Sun Aug 13, 2023 3:09 pm It's unbelievable, the whole point of the state purchasing the ROW, was to preserve it for future railroad use. They now have a railroad asking to use the tracks and the politicians are saying no thanks.
It's clear Maine is not interested, and if the Conway Scenic is really serious about expansion, they should refocus their efforts on the Conway Branch and forget about Maine. There's grass roots efforts taking place in Ossipee, to convert the ROW into a rail trail. They already have support from local business like Hobbs Brewery and town government but don't have any support at the state level (yet); if the railroad acts now, they can get a head of the rail trail movement before it gains momentum, like has happened in Maine.
Proposals need to be viable and self-sustaining... CSRX might want to do 100 things but they need $$ and a ROI to make it work.

MaineDOT purchased the ROW 40 years ago... I've seen several proposals over the years but no one has made anything stick. You can't save every rail line and the currently active SLR line, which mirrors the old MEC, is only running 2 days a week.
  by Goddraug
 
Something about this entire situation just seems odd. Still some unanswered questions about the CSRR proposal, but it was from a legitimate company that actually exists (yes, that's a jab to Golden Eagle).

The other thing I don't understand is that the Mt. Division was voted to be removed despite CSRR's statement. However, the Berlin Sub from Portland to Auburn, which has no active shippers, no railroad proposal, and was also the target of heavy trail lobbying, had its rail removal bill voted down. It's incredibly odd.
  by b&m 1566
 
I'm not arguing whether it's viable or not but what I do know is that of all the past proposals, none of them ever involve an actual railroad showing interest, that is until now.
So, let Maine tear up the tracks and if the Conway Scenic is really serious about expansion, they've got the Conway Branch for now, but the clocks ticking, 10 years from now and we might be singing a different tune.
  by CN9634
 
It doesn't matter whether a 'legitimate' company has made a proposal to run it... you still need at least $20M to get it up to 10 MPH.... I'm very doubtful that CSRX has that money on hand or a pathway to it.
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