New Hampshire tourist railroad sold

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Conway Scenic GP9 No. 573 leads an excursion out of North Conway in December 2016.
Justin Franz
NORTH CONWAY, N.H. — New Hampshire’s Conway Scenic Railroad has been sold to Profile Mountain Holdings Corp., the Conway Daily Sun reports. The sale was effective immediately.

The popular New England tourist road was owned by Russ and Dot Seybold for nearly 20 years. Prior to the couple purchasing the railroad in 1999, Russ had been president and general manager since 1990.

Profile Mountain Holdings Corp. is owned by David and Rhonda Swirk and William Sullivan Jr. David Swirk was previously the general manager on the Grafton & Upton Railroad in Massachusetts. G&U owner Jon Delli Priscoli had previously made a bid in 2015 to purchase the Conway Scenic but the deal fell through.

The new owners say they do not plan to make any immediate changes and that the railroad will be ready for its opening day on April 14.

“We look upon the Conway Scenic Railroad as an economic development engine which is closely tied to the communities in which it operates,” Swirk tells Trains News Wire. “The goal is to work with area business leaders to increase ridership and tourism for the mutual benefit of everyone. We sincerely appreciate this once in a lifetime opportunity to follow the same track that Russ and Dot have established to preserve and improve upon this historically significant property.”

In a joint statement to the newspaper, the Seybolds said they believed the railroad was in good hands.

“Owning and operating the CSRR has been both a challenge and a joy. We are very grateful to the hard-working employees and dedicated volunteers that have been essential to the success of the railroad. We are confident that the railroad will be in very good hands and wish David, Rhonda and Bill much success,” the couple said.

The sale is the latest in a season of change at the popular White Mountains destination. Earlier this year, Operations Manager Paul Hallett retired from the railroad after 13 years. He was replaced by Assistant Operations Manager Derek Palmieri.

The Conway Scenic was founded in 1974 and has run excursions on the former Boston & Maine Conway Branch ever since. In the mid-1990s, the railroad expanded its offerings by returning service to the legendary Maine Central Crawford Notch line.

More information is available online.
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