• 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

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  by CSRR573
 
gokeefe wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 1:53 pm If we're going to take a side trip to "Fantasy Island" we might as well make it worthwhile ...

I would say build a platform and canopy just inside the wye at Rollinsford Junction. This would allow for a cross platform transfer from the Downeaster without having CSRX operating over PAR. Sure this requires a rebuild of some track in Conway and the burned trestle too but I'm sure the revenues from ridership would support it (yes I'm talking about unsubsidized fares).

Obviously there are all kinds of complications for Conway Scenic's status as an "insular" railroad but Strasburg seems to get along just fine with that.



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Building on Fantasy Island, What if you had the folks that operate the Downeaster have Amtrak start another service to Conway, Then transfer to the CSRR for the "old time train ride" to the mountains. That way you can have amtrak pay to rehab the line and conway scenic gets another source of revenue
  by b&m 1566
 
arthur d. wrote: Tue May 26, 2020 4:43 am There's a wye at Rollinsford?
Yes, some of it was rebuilt for NHN customer, the rest of it is OOS.
  by shadyjay
 
CSRR573 wrote: Tue May 26, 2020 7:44 am Building on Fantasy Island, What if you had the folks that operate the Downeaster have Amtrak start another service to Conway, Then transfer to the CSRR for the "old time train ride" to the mountains. That way you can have amtrak pay to rehab the line and conway scenic gets another source of revenue
Would there be any market for the "Mountain Connector", similar to Amtrak's Downeaster "Coastal Connector" via the Rockland Branch (proposed)? It could run up on a Friday night and back on a Sunday afternoon/evening, between Boston, Rollinsford, and Conway/North Conway. Big difference between this and the Coastal Connector is that the line north of Rollinsford (the "branch") would need significant upgrades, while the Rockland branch is turnkey. Maine helps subsidize the Downeaster, but they probably wouldn't subsidize a run that is marketed for a competitive tourism destination/state.

If NH was more pro-rail, we would've had commuter rail to Nashua, Manchester and Concord eons ago. The "Northern" would have been saved. Etc etc. Until someone steps in with $$$ to rehab the rest of the Conway branch, you're stuck.

Not sure if the Conway/N. Conway area would work for a car-free vacation, weekend getaway, etc. Sure, there are lots of motels/hotels right in town. In order to make it a car-free vacation, you'd need some sort of shuttle running throughout town and the valley. Maybe there is already.

How far does Conway Scenic have rights on the line anyway? Isn't it just to the Conway town line? Doesn't Pan-Am still own "a couple hundred feet" blocking any thru traffic?
  by Backshophoss
 
With the G&U now the controlling "owner",and "common carrier",will Conway scenic now operate beyond the Diamond now with out FRA blessing??
  by b&m 1566
 
The G&U... what!? There's no connection, there almost was like 5, 6 years ago.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
b&m 1566 wrote: Tue May 26, 2020 9:50 pm The G&U... what!? There's no connection, there almost was like 5, 6 years ago.
The Grafton and Upton, a shortline between Worcester and Framingham, MA.
  by b&m 1566
 
My comment was in regards to the two railroads having no relation.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
b&m 1566 wrote: Wed May 27, 2020 6:51 am My comment was in regards to the two railroads having no relation.
So it was. I don't do too well at 5:40 in the AM without having had a cup of coffee~ :P
  by Red Wing
 
I could see something like what the White pass and Yukon Route or the Durango and Silverton do with backpacker shuttles. Many trailheads along the tracks through the Notch. Use the open air car for backpackers and hikers. Maybe work with the AMC to run this.
  by Arborwayfan
 
First thought (funny): speeders with trailers delivering stuff to-from Colemans.

Second thought (serious): After the Ski Train this winter I wouldn't be surprised to see Bartlett trains stopping at Attitash in the future, and selling one-way and RT tickets from either Attitash or N. Conway. People stay in N. Conway and want a day at Attitash, and people stay at Attitash and want a day in N. Conway, and there's already a little platform at Attitash. It wouldn't take much construction to add a stop or two at intermediate points (hotels, for instance) or a little south of N. Conway where there are several hotels right near the tracks. The region isn't good for car-free, but N. Conway and Attitash would each be fine for a half-day visit without a car.

Third thought (speculative): I've thought about the notch train's possibilities as a shuttle for hikers, cyclists, etc., because I've seen the Cuyahoga Scenic RR do that. I daydream about it often, actually. I was imagining people paying for being carried up the notch with their bikes so they could ride back down. Problem for cyclists and hikers: 302 not the best hiking or cycling road (no Franconia Notch Bike Path there, and not always much paved shoulder). Problem for CSRR: way more uphill demand than downhill demand, I'd imagine. I get the idea of using the train to take hikers to the various trailheads, but most hikers go by car and it would be just as easy for them to park at the trailhead and to park down in N. Conway. All my hiking from Crawford Notch has been going in a few miles and then coming back out to more or less the same spot. Looking at the first trail map I found online (because my AMC guide is not handy) it looks like there's not an equivalent to the Franconia Ridge Trail, maybe because the mountains and valleys make it difficult. So there might not be much market for taking people from on trailhead to another to help them close their loop. Or maybe people would like to go into the woods at Sawyer's River and come back out at Crawford's, and pay enough to make it worth while to take them just that distance. Who knows.
  by NHV 669
 
Arborwayfan wrote: Wed May 27, 2020 2:34 pm First thought (funny): speeders with trailers delivering stuff to-from Colemans.

Second thought (serious): After the Ski Train this winter I wouldn't be surprised to see Bartlett trains stopping at Attitash in the future.
It's such a good idea, they were already doing it before the ski trains were a thing.
  by Arborwayfan
 
Thanks NHV 699, that's interesting. I didn't know. The website says all trains leave from N. Conway and doesn't show a way to book from anywhere else. Do regular Bartlett trains pick up/drop off at Attitash if you ask on the phone or something, or do they just do that for special events? Or have they dropped it this year?
  by b&m 1566
 
Arborwayfan - 2nd thought, like previously mentioned they have been shuttling people two and from Attitash, for a few years now. I've never looked into it much but I'm pretty sure you can get tickets from either Attitash or the Conway Scenic or if the platform at Attitash is listed as a flag stop and you pay when you get on the train.
3rd thought, they've been selling one way fares on the notch train (excluding the fall) going as far back, as I can remember. They just recently started (not 100% sure if they are still doing it) offering one way fares on the return trips, like Attitash they have something set up with AMC. Of course, if your not hiking or biking back in either direction, one will need a place to stay the night.
  by Arborwayfan
 
B&M I remembered the one-way tickets on the Notch train. I wonder if anyone ever takes the train up to Crawfords, stays at the AMC, and then goes back the next day. Does the Notch train / Mountaineer carry bikes? It doesn't say so on the website. But then, the website also doesn't mention one-way tickets where I can see, so maybe there are some services they offer to those who ask for them but choose not to advertise.

When I was wondering about a market for a hiker shuttle, I was thinking of something to help people close the loop of their hike, by carrying them between trailheads, the way the AMC shuttle van does. I guess someone could ride up and hike (probably backpack) back down to N. Conway mostly on trails or back roads.
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