New Hampshire Trip - Cog Railway

On Wednesday we woke early and took a ride on the Mount Washington Cog Railway. We were lucky it was still running; 3 days later Mt Washington got a record 3 feet of snow ending the season. [and they continued to have the snowiest October there on record].

This railroad was the first mountain climbing cog railway ever. I could go on in excessive detail about it because I bought a book, but I won't.

We paid approximately a million dollars (well it wasn't quite that much) for our tickets and got in line for the train. But of course we thought the 10:00A on our ticket meant 10:00AM, but rather it meant the ticket was for the A train, and sure enough we were at the front of the B train line. So by the time we got to the A train it was full and we only got a seat together because a nice man (who later took our picture and gave it to us on a floppy disk) switched with us.

We were on the front train, the yellow one, sitting in the very back seat (Isn't it neat how the train engine is tilted so as to be level on the inclines -K):
Mount Washington Cog Railway

The trains used are just like the ones used over 100 years ago. They burn coal, and they use cogs (gears) that grip in a middle grooved track to push the car up the mountain. It's steep, with an average grade of 25% and "the most dangerous trestle in the world" which has a grade of 37% and goes around a curve at the same time. Here are the tracks going up the mountain:
Cog Railway

Part way up the mountain you have to stop and get water, because the train can't carry all of the water it needs to make the whole trip:
Water Stop

We passed the 9am train as it was going back down:
Green Train

It took about 90 minutes to get to the top. The trees gradually thinned and finally we got above the tree line. It was actually fairly warm at the top, in the high 40s. (Warm compared to three days later maybe. I was freezing! -K) But there were 55 mph winds, which made it extremely hard to walk. We had 20 minutes to get out and explore; there is an elaborate visitor center, weather station, and hikers lodge at the top.

There was also a pile of rocks you could climb to the summit. Here I am at the summit:
Vince at the top of Mt

The mountain is 6288 feet, the tallest in New England. It felt super high, although this point was barely as tall as the mountain passes we'd drive through when going through the Rockies.

On a clear day you can in theory see the Atlantic Ocean, Canada, and 5 states from the top. This was our one mostly-sunny day in New Hampshire, but cloudy enough we couldn't see quite so far. Here's a view, with the train tracks and the auto road in the foreground:
Auto Road

And all too soon our windy 20 minutes were up and we re-boarded the train. On the way down we pulled off on a siding to let another train pass us:
Other Cog Train

I didn't manage to capture it in picture form but you could see the coal man shoveling with one arm and holding the boiler door open with his other.

Here is the view back down the mountain. The train yard is the clearing about halfway along; what is after that is the access road. The green splotch toward the horizon is the golf course around the fancy Mt. Washington Hotel:

After this amazing trip, guess what we did? Why see more waterfalls of course.
Waterfalls of Crawford Notch