The Conway Scenic Railroad, Part Two

Continuing on with our trip on the Conway Scenic Railroad, I believe I left you just as we were all boarded and leaving the station to make our journey to Fabyans Station via the beautiful Crawford Notch in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, right? Ah yes, there's everyone comfy and cozy in their first class seating on the C.P. Reed car (though I think that one woman was wondering why I had lifted the camera above my head to take a picture!) ...

Onboard the C.P. Reed

As we pulled out of the station the clouds were getting a lot darker and a bit of rain was starting to fall (sigh, it figures!) so I wasn't exactly sure what sort of pictures I was going to be able to get but I was sure going to try to at least get a few semi-decent shots!  According to our narrator on the trip (a lady who apparently had a nice seat back in the lower dome section of the Dorothea Mae car behind us), we were going to pass over the Saco River three times during our journey north so I tried to get some shots of the river ...

The Saco River

View from the train

New Hampshire Stream

As you can see, the river is way down due to the drought that New Hampshire had this summer but as our ride progressed, it seemed like the rain that day was going to try to raise the water levels all in one shot!  These pictures were shot through the window so I'm afraid there were a few rain spots here and there but alas, you can't control the weather so I was just going to have to make the best of it!

Jamie checks out the view

Jamie didn't seem to mind the rain too much as she looked out the window at the passing countryside while our narrator told us stories about the history of the area and the trains that used to be such a major part of the White Mountains.

Crossing over the Frankenstein TrestleTwo of the things that I was looking forward to on the trip were crossing over the Frankenstein Trestle and the Willey Brook Bridge. The Frankenstein Trestle was named after the acclaimed artist Godfry Nicholas Frankenstein who was born in Germany in 1820 and immigrated with his family to the United States in 1831. Frankenstein's work was used by the Portland & Ogdensburg Railroad to advertise the beautiful Crawford Notch scenery to bolster tourism to the region back in the 1860's.

Frankenstein Trestle, which spans a crevasse of 500 feet from cliff to cliff at a height of 80 feet above a boulder-strewn chasm, was completed in June of 1875 with the first excursion train crossing it on June 29th. The current steel trestle was built in 1893 to replace the wrought iron trestle of 1875 and was strengthened in 1930 and 1950.

Unfortunately, trying to get a picture of the trestle while shooting backwards out of the slightly open window I was sitting next to in the rain was proving to be a bit tricky and this picture is the best I got but I was forming a plan for the ride back down to North Conway on our return trip.

Speaking of shooting out the window, here are two more shots that came out more or less okay ...

Shooting out the window

Rocks in the cut

Next we crossed the Willey Brook Bridge which crosses a span that is 400 feet long and 94 feet high between Mount Willey and Mount Willard. Again, getting a picture proved to be tricky at best and really doesn't give you the feeling that you're so high up.

The Willey Brook Bridge

Yep, it was pretty bleak and a lot of the beautiful scenery was looking pretty gray.  Come to think of it, the last time I was in the Crawford Notch area of the White Mountains way back in August of 1991 during my honeymoon, it looked a lot like this as Hurricane Bob was menacing the East Coast.  Just my luck!

Clouds & Foliage

When we arrived at Crawford Station, which is across from Saco Lake where the Saco River originates ...

Saco Lake

... a lot of the passengers disembarked to meet up with the tour buses that had dropped them off in North Conway and would continue on their foliage journey throughout other parts of the state. When we left North Conway, 99% of the train had been sold out but it sure looked like we were going to have a lot less than that on our return trip!

Off the train and into the rain!

As you can see from the picture below, it was quite wet out at this point so even though we were going to be stopping at Crawford Notch for awhile and usually passengers use this time to take pictures of the area and stretch their legs, we opted to stay onboard the train and grab a hot dog and cup of hot apple cider from the snack car while we waited to continue on our journey to Fabyans Station in Bretton Woods where the engines would do that run-around that I mentioned in my previous post and get in position to take us on our journey back to North Conway.

It's a bit wet out!

Yep, it was most definitely raining pretty good at this point!

Route 302 in the rain

Oh well, you can't argue with Mother Nature and win so I was determined to make the best of it so while we were at Crawford Station I walked back down through a few cars to scope out the spot I was going to be riding in on my way back down through the Notch - one of the open cars that would eliminate that whole "shooting through a rainy window" thing ...

The Open Air Car

It certainly had the potential to be cold and wet but hey, a blogger's gotta do what a blogger's gotta do, right? First though, the whistle sounded and we continued on our journey north to Bretton Woods where, with a short break in the rain, I decided to step off of the train for a few moments to check out the engines while the crew was doing the run-around. But - stupid me left my camera on the train so I walked over to where my Mom and Jamie were sitting and asked her to pass the camera through the window down to me. She did so but not before taking this picture where it looks like I'm saying "Jamie, just had me the camera without taking my picture!" Kids ...

Jamie, just hand me the camera without taking my picture!

With my camera safely back in hand I snapped the following picture of my mom and Jamie on the train before taking a few shots of the engines and a few other things going on while they were getting in position to take us on our return trip.  Looking at that, perhaps you can see why I was having so much trouble getting good shots!

Mom & Jamie at Fabyans Station

Carrying the signal lanterns

Beginning the "run-around"

Engine #252

Some people are serious about their foliage hunting!

This lady was pretty determined to get a picture of some foliage!

Checking out the flat penny on the track

These folks were checking out the penny that they had put on the tracks before the engines went by and which was now quite flat!

Crawford Notch Ski Area

This the Bretton Woods ski area that was across from Fabyans Station - you can sort of make out the ski runs if you look really closely or click on the picture and look at the bigger version.

With the engines now at the "back" of the train which had now become the "front" of the train, I borrowed Jamie's extra hoodie for a little additional warmth (she and her thin Florida blood opted to stay in the warmer C.P. Reed with my mom) and made my way down to the open car where I was bound and determined to get some better pictures!  I'll share them with you next post but for now here's one for a sneak peak:

The Notch Train Leaving Fabyans Station


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