• 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 CSRR4266
 
Jonathan wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 4:17 pm I still have a good feeling about the future of this railroad. As ive said before, I'm someone who wants to work there regardless of who's running the place or how it's run or whatever.
I'd say that with very cautious optimism.
  by NHV 669
 
It's the constant desire to do these radio/TV spots that get me as Westbound31 pointed out, but they can't even half assedly manage the folks they pay to work there. Good to see you back on here again, Bill. You're definitely aware of the inner workings of that place as much as anyone. I guess this is what happens when you have no Ops Manager, and let a photographer run a railroad.
  by CSRR4266
 
Westbound31 wrote: Sat Jun 18, 2022 1:39 pm I know Chocorua is out of service because the railroad can't find a service to replace Attitash on the Valley runs. It does appear as though the Notch trains are top priority.
It's OOS technically because no one wants to work the culinary with them. They did do a year or two of their own culinary team on both trains who were a phenomenal pair of teams and both made first class meals for sure. Problem is, that the way the Swirks want to pay for the raw materials (via credit card so they can pay for it 30-60 days later rather than by the standard method of Net 7, meaning paid within 7 days of delivery) is the more expensive method rather than the traditional restaurant food order. Which means profit margins are slimmer than they could be if they just paid the Net 7. Also the constant flip flopping of requirements and tastes, essentially made the culinary team put their hands up at the end of the season and walk, never to return or look back.
Last edited by CSRR4266 on Thu Jun 30, 2022 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by CSRR573
 
Since it seems Covid and the "lack" of people to hire as the main excuses, Does Hobo, Winnipesaukee, the Maine 2-footers and even the Valley RR have the same issue with scheduling and staffing? Or is this just exclusive to Conway?
  by Reader#108
 
Imageso, the short answer is yes. There have been opportunities at other railroads. But these other places have all been able to rebound. Why do you ask? WELL....as a manager for over 30 years I can tell you first hand....it's about your people. If you treat loyal people right, they stay. If you treat them like the stuff the grounds crew is emptying out of the cars at the end of the day, even the MOST loyal people walk away. How many people were driven away? Well, how much time do you have......the lack of training new people. Signing off on their rules and such. Putting trains on the ground at switches. Having people run a railroad who interested in what THEY want and not what is good for the business. The operations manager should be at Home Depot. With the rest of the tools. Solomon is a joke. I did photography for them for a decade. NEVER did I watermark or copywrite stamp an image. The place went from US US US US WE WE WE...to this is what it is and if you dont like it leave....and if you complain well we'll try to sue you.
  by ConwayScenic252
 
Hobo & Winnipesaukee have no issues, same with everyone else. Ever since Swirk came to the railroad things started becoming strange. Railfans weekend was cut severely short, 7470 barely had any test to go up the mountain in June of 2019. 216 seems to have been pulling the notch trains ever since 2019, it’s not the 252 issue because they had 1751 running at the time and used it once or twice. I’ve also seen during when just Swirk was put in and nobody else things seemed to be better. When Derek left things started to tip downhill a bit, it was noticeable, and when Solomon came in everything tipped upside down. The marketing is the mountaineer. And Bartlett siding is a lost cause with Sawyer trains. I love the railroad like anyone else but with Swirk in the throttle I can only think of what will happen next. As I said previously it would be better off at Strasburg or Downeast with #1055.

- Update: this weekend 7470 will be on display in the yard.
  by Reader#108
 
1751 has had a condemned wheel set since it got there. 216 was the engine to run because of the turbo and the dynamics. You will.note that most of the time after 252 crapped it that 4266 would lead up, 216 down. Or 1751 up, 216 down. Other railroads did suffer during Krona and have come back. That really isn't in dispute. The problem is the way these folks have been treated and almost forced out. This engineer is no longer qualified! REALLY.....the guy had decades of experience and now you don't like him because he told you the truth? DQ and term? THAT is what you're dealing with. You wanna deal with that? Nope. Me either.
  by p42thedowneaster
 
I still think CSRR needs a steam locomotive, but maybe they would be better off with something smaller, more like the Climax they have over at Clark's. It would never pull the train solo, but since they're diesel-pushing anyways, why bother having a heavy duty engine? Clark's was able to get the entire boiler replaced on #6 with a welded unit, giving it so many more years of reliable steaming. You can hand fire it with less wood or coal, run a lower boiler pressure, and still put on a really great show. Most of the train can't hear it anyways since the windows don't open in 1st class. This would even be better for a "behind the throttle"program, if something like that ever actually materialized.
  by Jonathan
 
Reader#108 wrote: Thu Jun 30, 2022 7:48 pm This engineer is no longer qualified! REALLY.....the guy had decades of experience and now you don't like him because he told you the truth? DQ and term? THAT is what you're dealing with. You wanna deal with that? Nope. Me either.
Did they actually let an engineer go because he was no longer qualified?
  by NHN503
 
That's what they told him, even though he ran the line on MEC for a long time and then continued on in the rest of the system with GRS/PAR.

He was very well qualified and I really liked working with him, he just pointed out issues. I was saddened to hear the BS the new Ops mgr gave him.
  by CSRR4266
 
Well if they removed his engineers qualification to run on the territory, and refused to provide any means of remediation to have him earn it back, yeah, they terminated his employment.
  by Reader#108
 
4266.....lets not just gloss this over.....

The gent in question was MORE than qualified. In fact, he was far better than the nozzle that is now the "road foreman". Probably why there was an issue. The engineer in question had a LONG history of operating some of the largest freight trains in New England. When you tell people that something is wrong, and they dont want to hear about "safety issues" then "management" goes to extremes. There are those of us who have witnessed it first hand. So, just because you like the place or think its great doesnt make it Mecca.

And P42.......PLEASE....enough with the foaming pipe dream of steam running properly. 7470 is the operational loco. 501 is allegedly due to go in at some point. They have no qualified people to operate them. As long as Bryan is doing the maintenance on the engine it will be fine, as long as the owner doesnt have his paws on the throttle. Causing wheel slip because "the railfans like it" will destroy that machine. And as was pointed out by people who know, the consistent up and down with the fire will cause boiler issues at some point. Get a Climax......this is not a 5mph ride with logs.
  by Reader#108
 
CSRR4266 wrote: Thu Jun 30, 2022 3:58 pm
Jonathan wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 4:17 pm I still have a good feeling about the future of this railroad. As ive said before, I'm someone who wants to work there regardless of who's running the place or how it's run or whatever.
I'd say that with very cautious optimism.
Dream on. While this owner is in charge, it will continue on its southerly decline......
  by MEC407
 
It is so discouraging and troubling to read these firsthand accounts of problems at the railroad. What a shame. :(
  by CSRR4266
 
I sadly can confirm & agree with all these comments. When they first came to town they came in with such pomp & circumstance that it was exciting to see where they were going to take the railroad. After seeing the crap they started doing like canceling an order of proper window gasket seals for a dome car because it was far too expensive and ordering a different gasket because it was cheaper and modifying it upon its arrival. Ever wonder why a certain dome car leaks in the rain? There’s your answer. Highly skilled maintenance personnel left shortly after this incident as they didn’t want their name associated with the repairs and maintenance if the owners were going to cut corners with improper or inferior product.
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