Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

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b&m 1566
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Post by b&m 1566 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:37 pm

I agree the design of those crossings are terrible and the only way you can fix it, is to install traffic lights at each intersection and make motorists coming off the side streets stop before the tracks, because you'll never be able to fix the sight line issues and you can't stop people trying to edge themselves out in heavy traffic. Even without gates, if the crossings go off and a motorist is on the tracks waiting their turn to pullout, they're going to panic either way.
For the Sensory Friendly Friday's trips are they even activating the crossings since they are being flagged anyways? I've seen the gates go down many times in the past but they had people assigned to each crossing to manually turn them on.

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shadyjay
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Post by shadyjay » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:43 am

p42thedowneaster wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:56 pm
Just curious if they need to have the gates or if they could get away with just having "automatic" lights like most of the other protected crossings.
No, probably not, but the crossings/rail line were rebuilt as part of the North/South road construction. IIRC, the whole rail line was shifted to accommodate the new road. Most likely the state (or the Feds on some level) called the shots on full-on protection (lights and gates) at each crossing, even though that portion of the railroad isn't regularly used.

What I've always found funny about the North/South Road is that you need to really be looking for it in order to get to it. The northern terminus is a side street a few blocks over from the 16/302 strip, and there's no formal signage on 16/302 S that says "hey, turn left for a bypass".

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John Smythe
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Post by John Smythe » Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:44 pm

Those grade crossing signals were installed at least some 15 years ago. Ni-cad batteries only have a certain lifespan, have they ever been serviced or replaced Whatever agency that designed the system to work the way it currently does should be called in to check them & make things right. Now that more frequent use of this portion of the line is to continue perhaps rethinking how to make everything work more in unison is in order.

Perhaps looking at a radio controlled signal system is the way to go. But at the very least a thorough look-see should be done to insure all is in order.
Love me or hate me.....I've kept the " Flame of Hope " lit & burning for MEC #501 since 1995. J. Smythe... Former Master Mechanic MEC #501 Project 1995-2000.

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drvmusic
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Post by drvmusic » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:53 am

Hi Everyone, do any of you know when the schedule for Railfan's Weekend will be out? I want to get tickets, but only see the regular runs online. Sorry if I missed something. The site still says the schedule will be published shortly. Thanks!

highrail
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Post by highrail » Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:50 am

New lettering for the dome went on yesterday. Looks great.
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gokeefe
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Post by gokeefe » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:15 am

Unreal to think of two domes operating on Conway Scenic. Great to see continued progress.
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b&m 1566
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Post by b&m 1566 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:23 pm

It's unreal to think the notch train has the potential to be 10 cars long this fall and as much as I miss the "sisters", I can't say for certain the notch train would've be able to grow like it has, if they still had them.

I just learned that the Circus Trains that were scheduled for this past weekend had been canceled, I guess the circus company went out of business in June. It's too bad that seem like it would've been a neat event, hopefully they'll have better luck next year in finding another circus company to do business with or come up with another event (a carnival, bbq/rib fest... people can waddle back onto the trains).

Is 4266 out of service? It seem like its been sitting behind the Roundhouse all season.

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John Smythe
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Post by John Smythe » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:50 am

Well, after writing to the powers to be at CSRX regarding some questions I had about MEC #501, I have the following to report. Plans are to have it running by the year 2029, that's ten years from now. I could see if the locomotive was in very poor condition or was a very late age of steam model with every factory option in the book installed on her but she's not. A 1910 steam locomotive was a pretty straight forward mechanical item to run & maintain. Back some 20 years ago when I was working on her a lot of power washing was performed on the undersides of her, chalk & crayon markings that were dated 1949 indicated that a lot of major work was performed on her by MEC. #501 was retired from active service in 1953, that's 4 years.
All the reports that I have seen prepared by those in the business of restoring steam locomotives all gave a heads up that she was in very good mechanical condition and very well suitable for a restoration back to active life. Seems that until the work on #4266 & #4268 is finished , whenever that will be Just another " Big Dig " project that will go on & on if you ask me. I was once a member of The 470 Club & I know how slow they are to get anything done. Sounds like the same old story that Matt Rines & I got from the previous owner of CSRX back 20 years + ago. Well #501 can be brought into the roundhouse right after we finish with this & that then something else & more & more delays. I'll be 75 years old by the time they possibly get #501 operational again. I can think of almost 20 individuals that were helping the project out in one way or another back then, they are all dead now. Many older folks who read & contribute to this website will also be dead & buried by 2029.
So what are my plans, I have a tremendous amount of document, blue prints, drawings, etc, etc, everything back when I was up there was well documented. As soon as the weather cools I'm going up into my attic & begin to clean out boxes & boxes of this what I consider important material and fill as many rubbish cans as I can & put them out front of my house for the rubbish truck. TEN YEARS to do a 3 year project, that's B/S. All my time wasted for nothing but more & more delays. That'd how this thing is starting to add up.
Love me or hate me.....I've kept the " Flame of Hope " lit & burning for MEC #501 since 1995. J. Smythe... Former Master Mechanic MEC #501 Project 1995-2000.

NRGeep
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Post by NRGeep » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:51 am

And i would love to see the state of New Hampshire donate The Flying Yankee to CSRX and of course they would drop everything and fix her up...yet, they have plenty on their plate already and kudos to them for all their hard work.

And kudos to you Mr Smythe for your drive to restore the ole' MEC #501 to active duty. no doubt it's a frustrating road, but, keep the faith sir!

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Cosmo
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Post by Cosmo » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:07 pm

In the interest of FAIRNESS, and with no other underlying motives, compare the projected timeline for #501 to the ACTUAL time it took The Valley to get #97 going again.
Comparable locomotives, similar simplicity of design, contemporary build-dates.
Without looking it up on my phone (because I’m away from the house,) VRR #97 was put away in WORKING condition, having pulled revenue trains the day she went down for maintenance, and it was close as you please to 10 yrs (going strictly from memory, please correct me) before she ran again.
501 has not run in- what, 60 years?
And not to dismiss the excellent work that was done, there’s quite a bit more to fix that just replacement tubes. The mud-ring and door sheet need extensive work- (again, just from the top of my head, correct me please.)

So, again, in FAIRNESS, 10 years is not at all unrealistic.

The fact is, the day-to-day work of running the railroad MUST take precedent, otherwise: “no bucks, no Buck Rogers!”
Almost as equally restrictive as funding/material is SHOP SPACE. There’s only so much.
Again, not to disparage anyone in any way, the days of expansive shops and hundreds of workers are long gone in the shortline/tourist railroad industry.
Ya gotta work with what ya got, and ya gotta pay the bills first.
Peace.
"It belongs in a MUSEUM!"
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shadyjay
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Post by shadyjay » Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:51 pm

#97 went down on 12/29/2010 and came back into service October 2018. By the winter of 2011, #40 and #3025 were both operational. At the time, there wasn't an immediate need for a third steam locomotive, so #97 sat for a few years on display. IIRC, its restoration didn't really begin in earnest until around 2017. Around that time, there became a desire for expanded Christmas train service and a need for 3 operating steam locomotives during the months of Nov and Dec. That was realized in the fall of 2018 when a third Christmas train set was added to the roster, thus needing 3 steam locomotives. So its not like #97 was in the shop for a solid 8 years.

I'm not defending or denying the 10-years for #501. It may take longer, it may take less time. As someone who now works on these machines, I can tell you its not always cut and dry... things do come up. And other, more pressing projects, get in the way. The Valley's mission is to regularly provide steam power. That's not the case at Conway Scenic. They have a substantial fleet of first and second generation diesels they need to take care of, in addition to the cars from the 1920s-1950s that take up precious shop space as well for needed repairs and such. I applaud their efforts and have enjoyed the many rides I've taken on the rails in the White Mountains, and I'll be there riding behind steam on Labor Day weekend through the Notch.

I'd love to see #501 pulling the Notch train into Crawfords. Maybe there can be a doubleheader with a borrowed #470.

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BandA
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Post by BandA » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:55 pm

John Smythe wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:50 am
......So what are my plans, I have a tremendous amount of document, blue prints, drawings, etc, etc, everything back when I was up there was well documented. As soon as the weather cools I'm going up into my attic & begin to clean out boxes & boxes of this what I consider important material and fill as many rubbish cans as I can & put them out front of my house for the rubbish truck. TEN YEARS to do a 3 year project, that's B/S. All my time wasted for nothing but more & more delays. That'd how this thing is starting to add up.
I hope you aren't actually going to destroy blueprints & documentation for a steam engine.

highrail
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Post by highrail » Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:41 am

Not really that hard to understand why 501 might not be a priority...new owner, just brought 7470 back from major overhaul, trying to manage an existing business and needs to be profitable, the major expense of the 501 is not affordable, etc.

John, imagine if the money you said you gave to the Big Boy project could have been saved for this...

gokeefe
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Post by gokeefe » Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:01 pm

I think it's unfair to argue CSRX's priorities. The fact that they are serious about this rehabilitation at all is very significant. Some may think it should happen faster. I'm just happy it's going to happen at all. If I was in a position to meaningfully support it (in whatever manner) I would do so whole heatedly.
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Pat Fahey
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Re: Conway Scenic Railroad (CSRX) discussion thread

Post by Pat Fahey » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:34 am

Hi
I do agree with the above posts on Locomotive Restoration, there are locomotives that are being restored as I write this. The Biggest problem when it comes down to a Restoration is the number one Factor, Money, Time, and Who is doing it.
If the Railroad or Tourist, line has a complete back shop. like Strasburg, RR, it can be done in a short amount of time. Because once you have the help and the right equipment to do the job.
Look at the Restorations that are being done, that have been taken a number of years, before the engine runs under her own power.
B&M # 3713, AT&SF 2926, Cass Climax 1551, Mec 470, I am sure that there are others, but this all takes time and money.
If Mr, Smythe would like to see the Maine Central 501 restored in a quicker period, then he should approach the Conway Scenic with a plan and the money to back up the operation in order to get the locomotive back to operating condition. If Mr. Smythe could cut a deal, where would it be restored, Strasburg, Boothbay, Me, Tennessee Valley Railroad, Valley Railroad, in CT.
Don't get wrong, I would love to see the engine back in operation, again it comes down to MONEY AND TIME, AND WHO IS DOING IT.

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