BRETTON WOODS — The Mount Washington Cog Railway, the world’s first mountain-climbing cog railway, will open for its 149th season on Saturday, April 21st. Trains will run to and from the top of New England’s highest summit every weekend until May 5th, when they will run daily.
In the fall of 2017, the railway ended its season prematurely when a flood damaged the trestle bridge crossing the Ammonoosuc River. The historic railway, now the only operating cog railway in the US, is often listed in guides as a must-do adventure for visitors to New England. It has only been closed from storm damage once before, when winds from the Hurricane of 1938 badly damaged Jacob’s Ladder.
A replacement bridge was ordered on December 15th, 2017 and installation was completed on March 6th. The bridge, sporting faux trusses, was designed and built off-site by Big R Bridge, based out of Greeley, Colorado. It was delivered by truck and set in place by Cote Crane of Auburn, ME. It took 3 and ½ days to assemble and install the bridge after it was delivered. The steel bridge spans 107 feet and adheres to all A.R.E.M.A (American Engineering and Railway Maintenance-Of-Way Association) standards, and is an upgrade over the previous structure.
This season, the Cog will be host to several annual events such as the NH Handcrafted Festival on July 14th and 15th. The festival features fine Granite-state products
produced by New Hampshire artisans. On Saturday, August 18, The Cog will host its annual Steampunk Festival. (Steampunk is a melding of the Victorian age fused with modern technology in a Wild Wild West style for a colorful and exciting event.)
Starting Memorial Day Weekend, the Cog will be firing up its vintage steam trains. The railway will be running a steam engine as the first train up the mountain throughout most of the season and an additional afternoon steam trip in July and August. Every day throughout the season, riders can save $15 off a ticket on the last train of the day. The details on the train schedule, special offerings and discounts can be found online.
Advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended as trips can sell out. Tickets for Cog Railway excursions can be purchased online at www.TheCog.com or by phone at 603.278.5404. The Cog offers round-trip tickets as well as one-way options up or down for hikers. Also available and popular with hikers, is a Cogger Pass, offering unlimited biodiesel train trips throughout the season. The pass also includes a ride in the engine cab. The Cog is located on Base Station Road, Mount Washington, NH just 6 miles off route 302 near Historic Bretton Woods. For more information and the daily train schedule, visit thecog.com.