The Mount Washington Cog Railway

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Mount Washington, New Hampshire

The Mount Washington Cog Railway – Climbing to the Top of New England Since 1869

For more than 150 years, the Mount Washington Cog Railway has been thrilling passengers from all over the world with its dramatic ascent to the summit of the highest peak in the Northeast. Located in the heart of the majestic White Mountains Region of northern New Hampshire, Marshfield Base Station is just six miles east of another New Hampshire icon, the Omni Mount Washington Hotel.

The Cog is the first mountain-climbing cog railway in the world and the only one currently operating in North America. With an average grade of 25 percent (some sections approach nearly 38 percent), it is also the second steepest in the world. Motive power is provided by a fleet of powerful biodiesel locomotives; each of which is custom designed, built and maintained on site. With a nod to its steam heritage, the railway also continues to operate a pair of century-old, coal-fired steam engines. 

At the summit, clear weather provides spectacular panoramic views from Quebec to the Atlantic Ocean. Passengers may also experience a taste of the “world’s worst weather” as it can snow on the summit even in summer. Conditions at the top can be quite a bit different than those at the base station, so bring a jacket. The summit is home to the Mount Washington Weather Observatory, one of the world’s most important weather laboratories. 

Trains lay over at the summit for approximately one hour, plenty of time to explore the Sherman Adams Visitor Center and its rooftop observation deck, Extreme Mount Washington (an interactive weather exhibit), a cafeteria and two gift shops. Adjacent to the visitor center is the historic Tip Top house, an original summit hotel dating back to 1853. Now a museum, it still looks very much like it did in the early days of the Cog Railway. 

Back at Marshfield Base Station, learn much more about The Cog’s fascinating history and technology at the interactive Cog Railway Museum. Grab a light lunch, a snack or a drink in the cafeteria. In the Gift Shop, visitors can browse a wide selection of Cog gear and apparel along with a selection of local and regional items.

Beginning in 2020, The Cog is a year-round attraction. In the winter when the summit is inaccessible, trains will run up to Waumbek Station at just under 4,000 feet. During a brief layover, passengers enjoy spectacular snowy views to the north and west, comfortable warning huts and a firepit, as well as complimentary hot refreshments. Round trips to Waumbek are approximately one hour long and have reduced fares. Facilities are open all winter long and serve as an excellent base camp for skiers, snowboarders, hikers and snowmobilers (parking/land use fees apply).

The Cog Railway is located at 3168 Base Station Road, Mount Washington, New Hampshire – just six miles from the historic Omni Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods and Rt. 302, three hours north of Boston, three hours south from Montreal and six hours north of NYC.

Visit thecog.com, or phone (800) 922-8825 for general information or (603) 278-2256 for group booking information.

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