View at the top…

Of Mount Washington, that is! And getting there WAS half the fun (since it was by rail!)

Back in 2002, Wifey and I took a train trip north to New Hampshire (via Mystic Seaport and their Amtrak station) for a wedding (and some sightseeing, of course.)  The official business required a rental car and about 3 days.  The rest of the time was ours to spend as we wished.

One of the locations visited was beautiful Mt. Washington, with its magnificent namesake mountain, rising to an elevation of  over 6,000 ft., and its cog railway providing breathtaking views on its way to the top!

The Mount Washington Cog Railway is the world’s first mountain-climbing cog railway (rack-and-pinion railway). The railway is still in operation, climbing Mount Washington in New Hampshire. It uses a Marsh rack system and both steam and (due to what locals call “Cog Smog”) biodiesel-powered locomotives to carry tourists to the top of the mountain.

Its track is built to a 4 ft 8 in. gauge, which is technically “narrow gauge”, as it is 1⁄2 inch less than a 4 ft 8-1⁄2 in. standard gauge. It’s the second steepest rack railway in the world after the Pilatus Railway in Switzerland, with an average grade of over 25% and a maximum grade of 37%. The railway is approximately 3 miles long and ascends Mount Washington’s western slope, beginning at an elevation of approximately 2,700 feet above sea level and ending just short of the mountain’s summit peak of 6,288 feet (1,917 m). The train ascends the mountain at 2.8 miles per hour (4.5 km/h) and descends at 4.6 mph (7.4 km/h). Steam locomotives take approximately 65 minutes to ascend and 40 minutes to descend, while the biodiesel engines can go up in as little as 36 minutes.

You can sense the beauty and splendor from the above…

If you ever get a chance to visit, you’ll have a great time!

Mandy

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