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White Mountain Central Railroad
New Hampshire-5090 - 1920 Climax Locomotive (4464888779).jpg
Climax Locomotive of 1920
Reporting mark WMCRR
Locale Clark's Bears
Dates of operation 1958–present
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length 1.25 miles (2.01 km)
Headquarters Lincoln, New Hampshire
Website http://www.whitemountaincentralrr.com/
White Mountain Central Railroad
I-93
Pemigewasset River
Roundhouse
(not open to public)
Roundhouse
(not open to public)
Clark's Trading Post

The White Mountain Central Railroad is a short heritage railway at Clark's Bears in Lincoln, New Hampshire. It is notable as being one of the few places in New England with regular steam locomotive operation, as well as being a very rare example of a purpose-built tourist railroad (like those found in amusement parks and theme parks) that uses 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge track instead of narrow gauge track.

Route

The entrance building to Clark's Bears doubles as the train station. From there, the train leaves north through the park, and then past the small locomotive shop. The railroad crosses the Pemigewasset River on a covered bridge and then heads into a wooded area. In this section of the railroad, an actor playing a wild prospector named "the Wolfman" chases the train in a primitive car. Finally, the railroad goes under a ramp for Interstate 93 and terminates.

Schedule and fare

The railroad operates whenever Clark's Bears is open, between late May and early October. There are between one and seven round trips per day, depending on the park's hours. Each trip is 30 minutes long, and the fare is included in the Clark's Bears admission price. During one weekend in September, Railroad Days are celebrated, with extra trains and special consists. That event had stopped yearly in 2014 and now operates every 5-10 years.

History

Construction on the railroad began in 1955. The first train ride was on July 30, 1958. The covered bridge was moved from East Montpelier, Vermont, and was reconstructed in its current location between 1963 and 1965.

Locomotive roster

Number Type Builder Date Heritage Acquired Status Notes
1 0-4-0T H.K. Porter, Inc. 1931 Koppers # 1 1957–1958 Operational Smallest steam locomotive. Operated at railroad tie treatment plant, Nashua, New Hampshire. Retired from service in 1954. Operates during Railroad Days only.
2 Gasoline locomotive Vulcan Iron Works Granite quarry, Barre, Vermont 1964 Operational Tiny locomotive, too small for revenue service. Operates occasionally for track maintenance.
4 Heisler locomotive Heisler Locomotive Works 1929 International Shoe Company 1958 Inoperable First ran in 1961. Primary locomotive, 1964–1976, secondary locomotive 1977–1984. Not powerful enough to handle 5-car trains, so operated only sporadically 1984-2006. Boiler undergoing overhaul at Boothbay Railway Village in Maine. On display during Railroad Days only.
5 2-4-2T Baldwin Locomotive Works 11-1906 East Branch and Lincoln Railroad, 1966–1969. Loon Mountain Ski Resort (display). 1999 Operational Logging locomotive for 40 years, 1906-1946. Logging mill switcher for 23 years. WMCRR debut September 26, 1999. Operates during Railroad Days only.
5 Class B Shay locomotive Lima Locomotive Works 12–1917 Woodstock Lumber Company, Franconia Paper Company 1951–1952 Inoperable 50-ton, builder no. 2958. Sold new in 1919, used as a switcher. Displayed during Railroad Days only.
6 Climax locomotive Climax Locomotive Works 1920 Beebe River Lumber Company, East Branch and Lincoln Railroad 1951 Operational Bldr. number 1603. Restoration completed 1976.
1943 GE 65-ton switcher GE Transportation 8–1943 Newport Dinner Train Operational Bldr. number 17886. Used for primary backup power.
B1 Railbus Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad 1930 Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes RR, 1930-1937. Starbird Lumber Company. Operational Once used for the shoulder season, but now even that is too much for the railbus to handle. Operates during Railroad Days only.

Station

Clark's Bears
Heritage railway
New Hampshire-5061 - Clarks Trading Post (4465652606).jpg
Clark's Bears
Location 110 Daniel Webster Highway, Lincoln, New Hampshire
United States
Owned by Clark's Bears
Line(s) White Mountain Central Railroad
Tracks 1
Construction
Structure type At-grade
Parking Free
Disabled access Yes

The Clark's Bears station came from Freedomland U.S.A., after that park closed in 1964.

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