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?