By Justin Franz
NORTH CONWAY, N.H. — Conway Scenic Railroad’s former Canadian National 0-6-0 steam locomotive was damaged in an early morning fire on Sunday, but firefighters were able to douse the flames before they spread any further, likely saving both the locomotive and the historic roundhouse it was in.
CN 7470 was parked in the former B&M roundhouse built in 1874 and was scheduled to lead a special excursion on Sunday afternoon. However, early that morning a fire started inside the locomotive’s cab, damaging seats, gauges, electrical wiring and more, according to the railroad. The fire also melted a spring in the locomotive’s whistle control valve, which in turn set off the whistle, alerting an employee who was on-site at the time. The employee called 911 and the North Conway Fire Department responded to the scene. They quickly doused the flames before the fire spread.
The railroad said it believed that the fire was sparked by the locomotive’s radio.
Brian Solomon, manager of marketing and events for the railroad, tells Railfan & Railroad that it’s unknown how long it will take to repair the locomotive just yet, but added that they are hopeful it will be back on the main line soon. The locomotive had run for the first time in nearly a year just days before following some needed repairs.
Despite the fire, the railroad was still able to run its excursion to Sawyer River behind its two former Maine Central GP38 locomotives. This weekend was the first time the two units had been reunited on the former MEC Mountain Division since CSRR purchased locomotive 255 last year.