If you have seen the film Murder on the Orient Express you might have a nostalgia for the days of old rail travel, with all the bells and whistles of top-notch service, cuisine, and even a steam engine.
That would be hard to find today with Amtrak’s fleet of mostly cafe cars and coach class, but there is an alternative—Heritage Railways such as the Conway Scenic Railroad in North Conway, New Hampshire.
The Conway Scenic Railroad owns and operates vintage trains dating from the late 1890s to the 1960s. Conway Scenic is also repairing two steam engines and hopes to have live coal-fired steam back on their lines this spring with the return of original Grand Truck Railway’s 1921 switcher 0-6-0 locomotive 7470.
The Valley Train offers a one-hour and two-hour trip and the Notch Train offers a five-and-a-half-hour roundtrip to Crawford Notch. Lunch is provided to first-class seat holders on both trains by Attitash Mountain Resort chefs. Sitting in the 1920s dining car is tight, but cozy. And It’s communal seating, so a great way to meet people.
As the train chugs along over historic trestle bridges, you’ll take in beautiful views of the valley’s lakes, rivers, and foothills. Fall foliage is spectacular and a reason many take the journey.
After fall foliage season, the railway offers Christmas rides, like the Santa’s Holiday Express. The Conway Scenic partners with the Believe in Books Literacy Foundation during the holidays to raffle off train tickets.
If you like New England’s natural beauty, history, and trains, there’s no better way to see the landscape of the White Mountains than to take a trip on the Conway Scenic Railroad.