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Mt Washington NH

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EXOTIC RAILWAYS
Mount Washington Cog Railway

The
highest peak in Norteast USA, at 6288 feet (1916 m), is located in New Hampshire, near Breton Woods. The summit is reached by the Mount Washington Cog Railway, better known as "The Cog". Built in 1869 by Sylvester Marsh, it is the world's first cog railroad and it still runs one steam train per day, plus numerous bio-diesels in season. Europe's first cog railway came 2 years later at Mt Rigi.

The Cog is the second steepest rack railway in the world (after Mt Pilatus in Switzerland) with an average grade of over 25% and a maximum grade of 37.4%. The railway is approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) long. The steam train ascends the mountain at 2.8 mph (4.5 km/h) and descends at 4.6 mph (7.4 km/hr). Our train was pushed by steamer #9 "Waumbek" built in 1908 by Manchester Locomotive Works.

On a clear day you can see the mountains and valleys of New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont, north into Canada, and east to the Atlantic Ocean. There are, however, precious few clear days; fog and wind are more common. Mt Washington boasts the highest recorded wind speed measured on earth (231 mph) and the record low tempersture (-50 F) in the lower 48 states. Snowfall averages 311 inches (7.9 meters). Cairns and ropes mark the climbing and hiking trails.  Photos on this page by Sonja.

 
Mt Washington Base Station and "Peppersas?                Traction Engine on display


Bio-diesel #M-1 and coach                                             0-4-0T #9 and coach


0-4-0T #9 and coach                                                       0-4-0T #9 ready to travel up the hill


Bio-diesel #M-1                                                               and his coach


A sunnier view of #9                                                       and her coach


Bio-diesel #M-3                                                              and his coach

Our coach, ready for the "All Aboard"                          Bridgework on Jacob's Ladder


Lower switch on passing siding - 9 moving parts           Upper switch, headed for the steep incline    

         
   Manually controled brakewheels used during descent                Fall colour had just begun