Possible new ME tourist line

John Barnhill Sep 11, 2010

  1. John Barnhill

    John Barnhill TrainBoard Member

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    Rail line advocates ask Mainers to look at the Conway Scenic Railroad


    Caroline Cornish, Reporter [​IMG] NORTH CONWAY, N.H. (NEWS CENTER) --

    People who are hoping that trains will someday run again along the Mountain Division rail line through Maine tried to give people a glimpse of their vision Friday.
    The line once ran from Portland to St. Johnsbury, Vermont. New Hampshire now runs the Conway Scenic Railroad on some of its portion of the line. The Route 113 Corridor Committee, which is pushing for Maine to restore the tracks that once ran from Portland to Fryeburg, says New Hampshire has been able to use the line to enhance tourism and economic development. Members believe Maine can do the same thing, bringing jobs to the western part of the state.
    $4 million of the transportation bond that Mainers passed in June is dedicated to starting work on the rail line from Portland to Windham. Supporters say they'll need another $15 million to complete the project. The state does now own the entire rail corridor between Portland and Fryeburg.
     
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    At least it was kept in place. Which makes such a project feasible. If it were a trail, or worse, chances would dim and costs skyrocket if ever a project could be started. This is why I like to see tracks railbanked. Even if for years. It is so much better than just a "foot in the door." It's more like having a whole leg all the way in- There is now greater leverage for opening that door fully!

    Boxcab E50
     
  3. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member

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    It would be great if that line could be placed close to the Mt. Washington Cog RR! :)
     
  4. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    The Mountain Division station in Fabyan, NH, is served by the Conway Scenic Notch Train. (the station is now a restaurant, but if you won't tell, niether will I) It's 5.7 miles from Fabyan to the Mt. Washington Cog base at Marshfield Station. Furthermore, it's only 1.6 miles from Fabyan to the famous Mt. Washington Hotel at Bretton Woods. So, Yes, the Mountain Division, Crawford Notch, and Fabyan are all alive and well.

    BTW, the Mountain Division was the route for a Schnabel car hauling a humongous transformer from Portland up into Vermont last summer.

    http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=288528

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9h9eIbzvWs

    So that line remains serviceable, just not on everybody's usual routing options list.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2010
  5. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'd forgotten about this event. Glad you brought it up. That means it's in even better repair.

    Boxcab E50
     
  6. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    OOOPS!

    I found out that the Mountain Division tracks between Portland and Fryeburg, though still in place, are not usable, at least not in the spring of '09. That's why the transformer move through Crawford Notch on the Conway Scenic had to go the roundabout route up into Canada from the docks at Seaport, then back south into New Hampshire. It would have been much quicker and far less expensive to have been able to go down to Portland then west to Conway on the eastern half of the Mountain Division. Fortunately, New Hampshire is maintaining the western half of the Mountain Division, being used by the Conway Scenic.
     

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