Welcome back "Steam in the Snow." After a 5 year hiatus, the recent return to service of Conway Scenic Railroad's beefy 0-6-0 #7470 once again allowed the Mass. Bay Railroad Enthusiasts (MBRRE) to run their "Steam in the Snow" excursion on January 4th. Until 2015, this excursion had been a regular, annual event, run on the first weekend of each new year, but the expiration of the engine's Form 4 had left New England's rail fans a bit steam-starved for several years. In the summer of 2019, the railroad's new management prioritized the completion of an FRA 1,472 Service Day Inspection, allowing the locomotive to return to service for special events, including this excursion.
The 7470 was built in 1921 by Canada's Grand Trunk Railway, which later became part of the Canadian National System. She's an 87-ton, 0-6-0, coal-burning switcher with 36,700 lbs of tractive effort. She was acquired from Canada in 1968 by Dwight Smith, the founder of the Conway Scenic Railroad, and has been there ever since. Because she was built for yard service and never intended as a road engine, she does have limited range, mainly due to water usage. Since her recent return to service, the Conway Scenic folks have also rehabbed a tank car for use as an auxiliary water car, and on all of her recent trips beyond Bartlett, she's been using that car as a water bottle. In this photo, we see the 7470 with her water car, making the short run from the roundhouse to the platform area, where she'll shortly tie-on to her passenger train and bring smiles to New England steam fans once again.