The Mount Washington Cog Railway, the first mountain–climbing cog railway in the world and the only cog railway still in operation in the United States, is celebrating 150 years of business this year in 2019. The Cog, (as it is affectionately nicknamed) is located in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire, 6 miles from the grand Mount Washington Hotel.
The Cog has remained a key icon of New Hampshire’s heritage and has maintained its historic roots by allowing passengers to take the three-hour round-trip riding in ahistorically inspired coach powered by a 1912 vintage coal-fired steam locomotive or one of the modern biodiesel engines, all built on-site. Designated as a National Historic Engineering Landmark in 1976, The Cog was referred to as “One of the greatest wonders of all time” by the Boston Transcript at its inauguration in 1868. It can certainly be argued that this is still true to this day.
The Mount Washington Cog Railway is a must-do New England adventure with a mountain experience like no other. Passengers travel in the Victorian era styled coaches to the summit of the peak known for having the world’s worst weather in the world, but on a clear day views extend from the Atlantic Ocean into Canada as the train reaches the summit. Along the way, knowledgeable brakeman provides colorful commentary on everything from flora and fauna to the weather extremes of the mountain.
Once at the top, visitors will find Mount Washington State Park and the Sherman Adams Visitors Center. This hearty mountain-top facility houses a winter weather exhibit, cafeteria, gift shopand restrooms. There is an hour to visit the 1853 Tip Top House, (the original hikers hotel, set as it was in 1853) enjoy a snack, explore the state park building and take in the magnificent view from the rocky summit.
Back at the mountain base, the new Cog Railway Museum, tells visitors the fascinating story of how the historic railway came to be and offers media presentations and interactive exhibits and viewing of Emmy-award winning documentary “Climbing to the Clouds”. Downstairs, visitors can peruse the gift shop full of local items to find that perfect White Mountain souvenir.
As the Cog’s 150th season gets underway, there will be a number of events and activities in celebration of this momentous anniversary, making this the perfect time to make the trip to New England’s most iconic historic attraction.
The season kicks of its Anniversary season with a celebration of epic proportions on Saturday June 22nd, while July 3rd marks the Cog’s official birthday, and the railway will be celebrating in style including presentations, games and fireworks. The railway’s long and unique history will be commemorated on August 17 and 18th at the 4th annual “Railway to the Moon” Steampunk Festival, an event featuring a lively mix of science fiction, Victorian style, technology and steam.
The Cog Railway is located at 3168 Base Road, Mount Washington, NH just six miles from historic Bretton Woods and Rte. 302, 3 hours north of Boston and 6 hours north of NYC. Call 603.278.5404 for general information or visit www.thecog.com.
Last modified: July 25, 2019