Conway Scenic Railroad’s Roundhouse Cat Continues Long Tradition
When you visit the Conway Scenic Railroad in New Hampshire, it's like taking a trip back in time to when steam locomotives went chugging along the rails of the Boston & Maine and Maine Central Railroads bringing passengers from afar to the White Mountains. Stepping into the former B&M station and walking around the rail yard make it look like time has stood still. The heyday of passenger rail is long gone, but the Conway Scenic brings it to life in the 21st century, right down to the tradition of having a roundhouse cat named Cinders.
Cats were commonly found in the roundhouses where locomotives were stored and maintained. They were really good at keeping pests at bay and served as mascots for the rail yards. The train crews worked long and hard days and it was nice to have a friendly cat around to give them a boost.
Cinders does the same for the crew and staff of the Conway Scenic. The name Cinders is obvious if you know your railroad history. Steam locomotives produced steam to turn the wheels of the locomotives and that steam was generated by burning coal, which of course produced coal cinders.
A Facebook page dedicated to Cinders the Roundhouse Cat gives visitors a glimpse at a typical day for Cinders at the rail yard. Walking the rails for an "inspection" or just enjoying the warm sun, Cinders is living the good life.
Conway Scenic is closed until further notice due to COVID-19, but Cinders will hold down the roundhouse in the meantime. When you are able to visit, you may just see Cinders around.