Mount Washington Cog Railway Geared Up for 142nd Season

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The Mount Washington Cog Railway is open for its 142nd season of bringing visitors to the summit of the northeast's tallest peak.

The Mount Washington Cog Railway is open for its 142nd season of bringing visitors to the summit of the northeast's peak.     

An expanded departure schedule is among the new features at the popular White Mountains's summer attraction, which gives passengers more time to spend exploring the top of Mount Washington.     

Trains bound for the summit will now leave the Marshfield Base Station beginning at 8:30 a.m. and on the half hour after that. The development of the biodiesel locomotives prompted the change.     

"They have allowed us to compact the schedule," said Al Laprade, who helped design the four 'green' engines that now ply the three miles of track up the western slope of Mount Washington. "Because they are computer controlled, we don't need as much slack in the schedule."     

Passengers now spend about an hour on the summit, where those ticket holders get free admission to the Mount Washington Observatory Museum, which provides a fascinating look at the weather history of the peak. The popular Train Ride and Observatory Tour has also been expanded this year, running on the 2:30 p.m. train July 12, Aug. 23, Sept. 13 and Oct. 11. Beginning June 18, a steam engine will run daily at 8:30 a.m.     

Adults and families can save on tickets with two specials available on the last trains of the day. A family, including two adults and two children, save a total of $43 with the purchase of a family pass, while adults can save $9 per ticket.     

The history, lore and legend of New Hampshire's most fabled mountain is told by the Granite State's favorite storyteller, Fritz Wetherbee, who narrates the onboard audio tour.     

The Cog's annual photo contest is focusing on family fun this year. The winning photo received at the end of the year will receive a ride for two in the cab of one of the biodiesel trains next year.     The Mount Washington Cog Railway is a National Historic Engineering Landmark. Its first locomotive, Old Peppersass, reached the summit of Mount Washington on July 3, 1869, making it the world's first mountain climbing railroad using a toothed cogwheel to engage the rack between the rails.     

Old Peppersass is on display at the Marshfield Base Station and the Cog Railway Museum, which is full of memorabilia about this pioneering railroad, is open. Admission is open and free to all.     

Tickets for Cog Railway excursions can now be purchased online at Due to the popularity of the rides, buying tickets in advance is strongly recommended. For more information, contact The Cog at 1-800-922-8825 or in New Hampshire at 603-278-5404.

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