New Hampshire’s premier attraction… since 1869! Ride the world’s first mountain climbing cog railway to the top of Mount Washington – the highest peak in New England!
interview done May 2020
“The Second Greatest Show on Earth!”
That’s what showman P.T. Barnum proclaimed in 1869 as he stepped down off the train and marveled at the view from Mount Washington’s rocky summit. High praise indeed from the man whose grand circus occupied the primary spot.
Today, more than 150 years later, the Mount Washington Cog Railway continues to thrill passengers from all over the world with its dramatic ascent to the summit of the highest peak in the Northeast.
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% (some sections approach nearly 38%), it’s also the second steepest in the world! Motive power is primarily provided by a fleet of seven powerful biodiesel locomotives, each custom designed, built and maintained on site. And with a nod to its steam heritage, the railway also continues to operate a pair of century-old, coal-fired steam engines.
Located in the heart of the majestic White Mountains region of northern New Hampshire, Marshfield Base Station is 6 miles east of Route 302 on the western face of Mount Washington. Even the drive along Base Station Road is beautiful– every twist and turn reveals new perspectives on the Presidential Range. Make sure to stop for some pictures at Upper Ammonoosuc Falls, an impressive rocky cascade and popular swimming hole just a few yards off the road. And keep your eyes open for wildlife- moose and bear sightings are not uncommon along the Base road!