Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Riding the Cog Railway

Riding the Cog Railway, originally uploaded by jps246.

The train only goes up to this point in the winter. When we got off the train it was about -10 degrees outside and there was about a 30mph wind with some good gusts. Pretty chilly!

A Train To The Moon? Almost
Mount Washington Cog Railway

Begun as a wild dream of Sylvester Marsh in 1852, the Mount Washington Cog Railway opened in 1869 when “Old Peppersass” became the first cog driven train to climb to the summit of Mount Washington and became the first cog driven train anywhere in the world. The Mount Washington Cog Railway is still there today, over 135 years later, offering riders a chance to experience a train ride that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.

Revolutionary at the time and still today, the Mount Washington Cog Railway was the first train that used a “cog” to climb its way up a mountain. The track and trains have a distinctive design that allows the two to interconnect and gives the trains the ability to climb the steep slopes that were required to get to the summit of Mount Washington.

(More from jps246...)

Mount Washington Cog Railway Winter Train

Enjoy riding Mount Washington from fully enclosed and heated Coaches!
A Scenic One Hour Round Trip to Upper Waumbek - Elevation 4,000'
Trains Run Weekends At 10:00 & 1:00

ADULTS $31.00
CHILDREN (4-12) $26.00
Children 3 & under ride free if seated on an adult's lap - one child per adult.
Buy Tickets Online!

The Trains

Coal-fired steam engines, with tilted boilers that compensate for the uphill angle of their ascent, are designed to travel along a traditional 4'8" track with a cog rack running parallel between the traditional rails. A toothed cogwheel connected to the drive shaft of the engine securely engages the rack (similar to the way a person climbs a ladder), allowing the engine to climb upward along the slope of Mt. Washington.

Each engine, staffed with an engineer and a fireman, pushes a single passenger coach that is staffed with a brakeman who is well versed in the history and operating procedures of the trains. Each ascent to Waumbek consumes one-quarter ton of soft-grade bituminous coal and 300 gallons of water. The coaches are heated and accommodate 70 passengers.

Uphill Capacity

The estimated travel time from Marshfield Station to Waumbek is 15 minutes. The maximum uphill capacity is 350 people per hour.


The Mount Washington Cog Railway operates under guidelines established by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. In addition, numerous measures are taken to ensure the safety of all passengers. Although the aesthetics of the Cog are reminiscent of the original engines and coaches, many modern technologies are employed to optimize the safety and enjoyment of passengers during each excursion.

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