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New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<<

October 07, 2020 07:41PM
Folks,

Like a lot of you, most of my plans for 2020 have been overcome by events. All of my charters and special trips to document preserved steam have been canceled this year, and even now, it is unclear if 2021 will bring about better times. Spending most of the last 7 months near home, I hadn't taken many steam photographs since the C&TS Rotary Event back in early March. A couple of weeks back, desperate for a steam fix, I headed back to a place I'd only visited once in the last 10 years. A place that's almost in my back yard....well sort of. smiling smiley

New Hampshire's Mt. Washington Cog Railway has intrigued me since I was a kid. It was the world's first mountain-climbing railroad when it was completed in 1869, the same year as the Transcontinental Railroad and has been in almost continuous operation ever since. The railroad is just over 3 miles long, yet it climbs over 3,500 vertical feet to the highest point in the northeastern US and a place that features some of the world's worst weather. It features an average grade of over 25% and a maximum grade of 37.4%. For the first 140 years of its existence, it rostered a fleet of up to 8, very unique steam locomotives, carrying millions of tourists with an amazing safety record. And YES, it is narrow gauge.....by just half an inch! It is also one of the most spectacular railroads I've ever photographed. In 2008, the railroad embarked on a major program to move to diesel power, more than half a century after the mainline railroads did the same. In the year leading up to the cut-over to diesel power, I visited the Cog Railway half a dozen times, walking the entire length of the line during a couple of those trips, doing the best I could to document the way things once were. In June of 2009, with the delivery of the line's 3rd diesel-hydraulic locomotive, the line retired 4 of its 6 remaining steam locomotives and steam operations were cut back to just one trip per day, usually very early in the morning. As a steam enthusiast, I was thought the steam era was dead up there.....but I was wrong.

With the pandemic limiting my long-range travel, I've made 2 trips the the Cog Railway in the last couple of weeks and am happy to report that steam is still alive and doing pretty darn well. Yes, the lions share of the tourist runs these days are handled by a fleet of diesels, but the railroad still rosters 2 active steam engines and those two survivors are probably in best condition that they have ever been. In addition, the line now regularly runs 2 steam trips per day, and those trips are pretty well sold out well in advance. During my visits, the steam crews up there were universally nice and incredibly interesting to talk with. I rode to the top twice and in both cases was very lucky to find good weather in which to photograph the line's operations.

Since my return, I've decided to assemble a photo album, consisting of my favorite pictures from this amazing operation from over the past dozen years. It includes a lot of images from the end of the all-steam era as well as images from today. It also includes images captured from all over the line, including some from places that railfans rarely go. I've amassed a pretty large collection of steam photos from all over the US, but I count these as some of my most prized because many of these scenes will never be repeated. Take a look if you have some time. If you're ever up here in New England, pay the place a visit and take the ride. It's pretty darn cool to think they've been doing this for 151 years.

Mt. Washington Cog Railway

Thanks,

/Kevin Madore
Subject Author Posted

New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<<

KevinM October 07, 2020 07:41PM

Re: New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<<

jameswaite October 08, 2020 03:05AM

Re: New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<<

jcpatten October 08, 2020 03:54AM

Re: New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<<

KevinM October 08, 2020 05:43AM

Re: New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<<

Sharrod October 08, 2020 07:48AM

Re: New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<<

KevinM October 08, 2020 08:34AM

Re: New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<<

WarrenD October 08, 2020 11:34AM

Re: New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<<

round_house October 08, 2020 05:49AM

Re: New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<<

elecuyer October 08, 2020 06:48AM

Re: New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<<

Scott Turner October 08, 2020 08:26AM

Re: New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<<

tgbcvr October 08, 2020 08:47AM

Re: New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<<

Stewart Rhine October 08, 2020 09:26AM

Re: New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<<

KevinM October 08, 2020 10:37AM

Re: New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<<

Scott Turner October 09, 2020 07:03AM

Mt. Washington Cog Railway B&M Transfer Station

KevinM October 08, 2020 10:59AM

Re: Mt. Washington Cog Railway B&M Transfer Station

jcpatten October 09, 2020 08:43AM

NNG: Map of B&M Branch from Fabyans to Base Station Attachments

elecuyer October 09, 2020 04:07PM

Re: NNG: Map of B&M Branch from Fabyans to Base Station

jcpatten October 10, 2020 05:05PM

Re: NNG: Map of B&M Branch from Fabyans to Base Station Attachments

Bob Meckley October 11, 2020 06:30PM

Re: NNG: Map of B&M Branch from Fabyans to Base Station

jameswaite October 11, 2020 11:24PM

Re: NNG: Map of B&M Branch from Fabyans to Base Station

elecuyer October 12, 2020 07:48AM

Re: New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<<

BrianJ October 08, 2020 08:00PM

Re: New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<< Attachments

randyr October 08, 2020 09:37PM

Re: New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<<

Sharrod October 09, 2020 08:27AM

Re: New Hampshire Narrow Gauge: The Mt. Washington Cog Railway >>>Photo Album<<<

KevinM October 09, 2020 11:04AM



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