The Conway area was reached by rail in 1872 by the Portsmouth, Great Falls & Conway Railroad, starting in Portsmouth and following a fairly straight path north. The railroad came under the control of the Eastern Railroad, which was swallowed up by the Boston & Maine Railroad in 1885. The station at North Conway saw its fair share of ski trains from Boston pull in over the years, but despite the thrill of riding the train to the mountains, passenger service to North Conway ceased in 1961, and by 1972 the Boston & Maine had abandoned the line from Ossipee up to North Conway. The station at North Conway was purchased in 1968, and later after the Boston & Maine pulled out of North Conway, the rail yard was purchased in 1974. This was the start of the Conway Scenic Railroad.
North of Conway, the Portland & Ogdensburg Railroad had constructed an east-west route that came from Portland, Maine and terminated in Lunenburg Vermont. This rail line followed a different ownership line than that of its neighbor to the south. The Portland & Ogdensburg came under the control of the Maine Central Railroad, which in 1981 was purchased by Guilford Transportation Industries. Guilford Rail System used the line up until 1984, then giving up the line to the State of New Hampshire. In the mid-1990s, the Conway Scenic Railroad pursued using the line up through Crawford Notch. By 1996, the Conway Scenic had rehabilitated the rail line from North Conway up through Crawford Notch to Fabyans.
The Conway Scenic Railroad operates two different trains with three different rides from the original North Conway station and rail yard. Two of their shorter trips are the Valley Train, which leaves North Conway for either Conway to the south or Bartlett to the north. The longer Notch Train heads north to Crawford Notch, and occasionally Fabyans.