Railway Preservation News

Old Colony & Newport Scenic Railway
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Author:  WVNorthern [ Mon May 22, 2017 6:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Old Colony & Newport Scenic Railway

I noticed that railbikes are now running on the tracks of the Old Colony and Newport Scenic Railway. Is the former volunteer Sunday tourist train still running or is that operation defunct? I think there was a separate dinner train as well. Is that still running as well? The web site of the OC&NSR appears to have been taken over by someone else and their Facebook page hasn't been updated for a long time.

Author:  1702 [ Mon May 22, 2017 6:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Old Colony & Newport Scenic Railway


The operation is now the Newport & Narragansett Bay Railroad. http://trainsri.com

Jim Tatum

Author:  elecuyer [ Mon May 22, 2017 6:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Old Colony & Newport Scenic Railway

As I understand it (corrections welcome.)

The "Old Colony and Newport" was a volunteer-based organization. I think they ran Sundays-only out of Newport, RI. (The south end of Aquidneck Island.) They used a couple of centercabs and two ex-B&M wooden coaches. They were supposed to get the B&M coach from a private owner in Lunenburg, MA - but that fell through and that coach was scrapped without warning. They OC&N ceased operations a few years ago. I do not know why nor the status of any of their equipment.

The "Newport Dinner Train" ran on the same tracks and shared the same general facilities as the OC&N. They came along after the OC&N and were a for-profit corporation, focusing at first on the dinner train, but eventually eclipsed the OC&N tourist services. I think they were restricted from running on Sundays, so not to conflict with the OC&N. They have (among other things) a pair of ex-BC Rail Budd Cars. The Newport Dinner Train was recently sold to the current operator, the Newport & Narragansett Bay.

The N&NB is owned/operated by the Seaview Railroad - a freight switching operation on the former Quonset Point military base. The Seaview recently purchased a couple of the Ringling Bro's Circus Train cars.

Meanwhile, on the northern end of the Aquidneck Island, a railbike operation will be starting soon. I think they will be running between Middletown and Portsmouth.

This whole operation is disconnected from the national rail network, due to a missing swing bridge between Portsmouth and Tiverton, RI. All equipment has to be bridged or barged over to the island. The state is holding this ROW fairly close, so to eventually offer passenger rail to Boston via Fall River and/or Providence via Attleboro (MA.)

And despite the north end of the ROW abuting my sister's home in Portsmouth, I have never actually visited any of these operations. (Shame on me.)

Author:  bigjim4life [ Mon May 29, 2017 11:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Old Colony & Newport Scenic Railway

That line is on my eventual list of railroads to film - so many operations, so little time...

Author:  elecuyer [ Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Old Colony & Newport Scenic Railway

I spoke with someone affiliated with the Old Colony and Newport Railroad at the Jan 2018 Railroad Show in Springfield, Ma.

They are not dissolved, but are currently not operating for the public. They continue to maintain their equipment and some of the railroad right-of-way. They may operate charters if there is interest. The biggest hindrance is getting permission to pass through the military base. To solve this issue, the Newport & Narragansett Bay operates exclusively on the other side of the base - leaving the track between downtown Newport and the base unused, except for the OC&N, if they ever choose to operate it. Meanwhile, the bike path lobby is salivating over the possibility of removing that line from the base into Newport.

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