• 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 CPF66
Based on the light dressing of ballast they did, the sand ballast is still doing most of the leg work. Someone posted a video of the 7470 a few weeks ago and you could see how little rock they dumped.
  by Westbound31
I remember Paul using ballast in just certain problem areas when we did track work. West side curve being one of those areas. He likes the old sand ballast that the B&M used and felt it was more authentic to the railroad. I always liked it as well. Kind of sad to see it covered up. Sand was okay for trains running 17-20mph. Not sure what they’re running at now or what swirk plans on running them at. Saw a recent vid of 7470 pulling the Conway train at what seemed like a pretty high speed. From what I understand, the reason the FRA wrote swirk up on the hairline cracks on the trucks of 7470 was due to the speed at which he was pulling trains west of North Conway.
  by Jonathan
As someone who has chased dave on 7470 3 times, I can tell you with absolute certainty he doesn't push the engine to go any faster than 25-30 mph, I believe he runs it conservatively from a speed point of view. Compared to him, Wayne Duffet, who is also a qualified steam engineer for the Conway Scenic, tends to run 7470 fast and hard.
  by NHV 669
25-30? I thought CSRX was all class I track. Is it class II at some point east of Gateway/Crawford Notch?
  by b&m 1566
25 to 30 mph!? No they don't go that fast. It's 11 miles round trip to and from Conway, it takes a little over 20 minutes each way (add 10 + minutes for the run around), when you do the math, it comes out to 15 mph. Their entire schedule is based off 15 miles per hour average speed. While some areas they might hit 20, other areas they are limited to 10 or even 5, so it averages out to 15. To the best of my understanding the track varies between class 1 and 2. I don't think they hit 25 miles per hour anywhere on the system, nor should they, they're a scenic railroad.
  by CSRR573
Discussing track speeds, it seems like for a couple years now on the notch train, speeds seem slower west of Bartlett just after 302 then they did say around 2016ish. Going downhill still seems the same tho
  by CPF66
I have always been told that the track is good for 25, but they primarily go 20 or less since A. its a scenic railroad and B. it reduces wear and tear.
As for the sand vs rock topic, what I always heard from a few MOW guys I know who maintained branches with sand for ballast, sand is more prone to create mud vs. ballast due to the clay content in the sand. With sand you also don't get the locking action you do with rock ballast. I imagine running trains over it is similar to taking a sand blaster to a tie. I can see applications where it would be the financially responsible choice like in a yard or siding, but if you are running anything at speed, rock is the way to go.
  by Pat Fahey
Hi All
Does anyone have any idea what Swirk plans to do with (3) buses on the property, it sounds like he is filling with property with his own JUNK. No wonder why Conway Scenic is in such a mess it is in. Thank you, Pat.
  by BandA
I imagine the B&M used sand as ballast because it was locally available and cheap and cinders were no longer available
  by Safetee
for occasional generally light train service, sand works fine as a ballast. properly chucked and dressed sand provides good even support over time achieving very good uniform compaction under the ties, facilitates drainage, and is way cheaper than stone. the biggest problem with sand is that it doesn't respond well to most mechanical tamping. but if you don't mind sighting by eye/ using a level board, and hand chucking and dressing, sand is a good economical way to go.
  by BandA
What does it mean to chuck ballast?

Dress means to add more to level it off, I know tamp means to press it down with force or weight, which is also done with asphalt. I imagine if you wanted to do something with sand ballast & a machine you could vibrate it somehow or vacuum it up and reapply, neither would work well unless your railroad is built on a sand deposit. If you put gravel on top of sand I would imagine you would get a lot of settling.
  by Safetee
chucking ballast is a lost science and probably called other things in different places. it'used to be used when ever you were working with fines like sand, cinders, and pit run gravel ballast.

after you've raised the track to the point where you want it with jacks, it takes at least two individuals armed with true ballast shovels (an endangered species of track tool), working on opposites sides of the tie. initially establishing a slot on both sides of the tie by back blading against the tie, then reversing the shovel using your best foot you cram the sand or other ballast under the tie inserting.the toe of the shovel under the tie in the process compacting the sand as you work along the side of the tie with your team mate. after it's all properly packed. drop your jack/s and dress it off. .

chucking ballast is amazingly effective. you can insert a 3 foot 1/4 inch diameter stick under the bottom of the ties, chuck it, drop the jacks, and if its done right it's hard to remove that stick.. because you're primarily using your leg to tamp the material it take much less energy to surface track this way than using tamping bars or forks in stone.
  by ConwayScenic252
Looks like the issues Swirk has been having finally got to the attention of YouTube- a friend of mine made a music video with the carnival theme and Conway Scenic footage. It was taken down. I’ll edit this post later when I get the reason why.

Edit: an 'employee' said he could get in trouble if someone else saw it.
  by Calebharris39
Has anyone heard anything or any updates on what's going on with the Bartlett roundhouse.? I drive by almost daily and the society and work just has seemed to dissaper
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