Monday, December 18, 2023

CSX Donates the "Waterville Wreck Train" to the 470 Railroad Club

 The 470 Railroad Club is pleased to announce the donation of “The Waterville Wreck Train” from CSX. The 470 Club has worked with CSX and generously accepted the donations of several Maine Central and Boston and Maine freight cars to add to our collection in North Conway. 

While the freight cars will all help serve Conway Scenic Railroad in maintaining the B&M Conway Branch, and Maine Central Mountain Division, the Waterville Wreck Train will serve as an educational tool and display in North Conway for guests to enjoy. The 470 Club working with Conway Scenic Railroad, would like to preserve, display, and demonstrate the Boston and Maine Wreck Train (Waterville Wreck Train) for guests at the North Conway yard.

 CSX has been very generous working with us to preserve some of the last historic rail equipment remaining of the B&M and Maine Central that was acquired through their purchase of Pan Am Railways. Thanks to support from CSX, the 470 Club has already prepared most of the equipment at this point for its journey to North Conway. Air Brake tests, and mechanical inspections and repairs have been made to the equipment to make it safe for its journey. 

We have secured the funds to transport the equipment from Waterville, Maine to North Conway, NH where it will be displayed. However due to the nature of the Boston and Maine Crane 3365 and its extra weight, the State of NH and Conway Scenic Railroad have teamed up to upgrade two obstacles on the route to North Conway. Two trestle bridges on the Groveton Branch will be strengthened to safely allow the equipment to pass without damaging the infrastructure. We anticipate the work will be complete in the spring of 2024, and sometime shortly after the Wreck Train will begin its final journey to its retirement home in North Conway, NH. 

What is included in this generous donation from CSX? At this time the Waterville Wreck train donation includes: 1929 Industrial Brownhoist 200 Ton Crane BM 3365, Boom Flat BM 524, Tool/ Cable Boxcar MEC 546, Cable Boxcar MEC 545, and Crew quarters/baggage Coach BM 309. These five pieces as well as other equipment have all been prepped for the journey to North Conway. We hope to receive them within the 2024 season. 

How can you help with the preservation of this Boston and Maine Wreck Train Equipment? By donating today via GoFundMe, or by check to the 470 Club PO Box 641 Portland, Maine 04104. While we have financially covered the transportation, we are in need of support to help with the restoration of the equipment. 

The goal will be to repaint the pieces to their historic B&M or MEC appearances from the 1950s. We also hope to set up displays inside BM 309 to show the wreck crane in action on the Boston and Maine, as well as other display to be open to public. While there is much more work ahead of us to get this equipment in North Conway, we appreciate the help of all donations big or small. Please consider donating today to help get this project on track! All donations are tax deductible, the 470 Club is 501C3 and we can provide receipts, and you can use the GoFundMe printout as proof as well. Thanks for your continued support! 

The mission of the Corporation shall be to expand the public appreciation of railroads and their history through preservation, experience, and education. In furtherance of this mission, the Corporation may acquire, maintain, exhibit, and demonstrate railroad equipment and memorabilia of all kinds, and take all necessary actions pertaining there to. Here is the link to the go fund me page if you want to donate to help out to get these restored.

Go Fund Me for the Wreck Train

Article by 470 Member and Trustee Eric Grover