Two lovingly restored trains supply the Conway Scenic Railroad with some of
the most beautiful and relaxing sightseeing in the state. After the Civil War,
trains gradually replaced stagecoach routes throughout the country. A rail line
north from Boston was engineered, and the tracks between Conway and North Conway
were laid in 1872. The historic station was built in 1874. It remains virtually
unchanged today, and is one of the area’s attractions.
Even back then, tours to the beautiful White Mountains were popular, and there
are grand New Hampshire hotels from the period that still accommodate visitors.
The station is now a National Historic Landmark, and this New Hampshire scenic
railroad is a popular activity for vacationers.
The summer and autumn “leaf peeping” seasons see several trains per day. A train tour in New Hampshire on the Conway Scenic Railroad during this time of year showcases the incredible beauty of the region, all combined with Victorian comfort and a little history. There are two trains – the Valley Train and the Notch Train.
The Valley Train reveals the beauty of the farms and countryside of the Mount Washington Valley from the historic North Conway station to either Conway or Bartlett. The train on this New Hampshire scenic railroad provides the spacious Gertrude Emma Parlor and Observation Car, with spacious first-class seating in a beautifully restored Pullman car built in 1889 with rich mahogany woodwork and individual wicker chairs. An open observation platform and large viewing windows reveal the passing scenery as the train passes through deep forest, by crystal blue lakes, and historic covered bridges.
A train tour in New Hampshire on the Notch Train is considered one of the best tours in the East. It travels past sheer mountain bluffs, through pristine state parks, and past bubbling brooks, on its way to Crawford Depot or Fabyan Station. It also passes over the famous Frankenstein Trestle and Willey Brook Bridge, both of which cross steep rugged ravines at a dizzying height beneath towering cliffs 500 feet across a deep chasm 80 feet below. This is the Crawford Notch, and the first train crossed it in 1875. This New Hampshire Scenic Railroad gives you the option of the Dome Car (with its glass roof), the CP Reed, or Dorothe Mae, dating to the 1950s. There are almost 100 seats, with places on the Dome Car the most sought – especially during the autumn foliage season.
Both trains of the Conway Scenic Railroad operate from mid-April until near the end of October. There are also some holiday trains during the Christmas season, showcasing the winter wonderland of frozen lakes, fresh snow weighing down the fir trees, and the towering peaks of the White Mountains. There is also the elegant 47-seat dining car, Chocora, that travels between North Conway and Bartlett from June until the Columbus Day weekend. There are lunch and dinner rides, and the stylish car serves a full menu and has a full liquor license. The trip for each service is almost two hours long. The scenic train rides last between one hour and five hours, depending on which train and route you take. Fares are reasonable and depend on the length of your trip. Seating is limited and this popular train tour in New Hampshire fills up rapidly. It’s recommended that you make your plans in advance.