MARSHFIELD BASE STATION — The Mount Washington Cog Railway will resume passenger service on Saturday, April 4.
President and General Manager Wayne Presby says that “preparations are well under way for what is already shaping up to be yet another record setting season.”
Last year, the railway celebrated its 150th anniversary and its eighth record season in a row.
For the first time in its history, using the new track maintenance vehicle put into service last year, track renovation work proceeded all winter.
As a result, the railway has been able to complete almost a third of the rerailing project started in the Spring of 2019.
This work will pick up steam this next year with the goal of having the project completed by midsummer 2021.
Main line snow clearing operation got a boost this week with the maiden run of a unique new hydraulic snowblower system mounted on the company’s latest biodiesel locomotive.
The unit was designed by the Cog’s in-house engineering team and manufactured by Teamco, Inc. in Tea, SD. Significant modifications to the locomotive, including a heavy-duty steel mounting bracket, were fabricated at the company’s winter maintenance facility in Berlin.
Currently, four of the railway’s seven biodiesel locomotives are at the Berlin shop undergoing major repairs and upgrades.
Presby is finalizing plans for the construction of a new state-of-the-art, 35,000 square foot maintenance facility adjacent to the company’s nineteenth-century engine and coach shops located at the Marshfield Base Station.
The new building will provide a consolidated work area for all the fabrication and maintenance operations of the railway. It will also free up space in the existing buildings for the storage of work cars, utility vehicles and other equipment used by the railway.
One of the many innovations planned for the building are the use of air casters for the movement of heavy equipment within the building.
Air casters are small hover craft like devices that allow 18 ton locomotives to be moved around within the shop on a cushion of air using little or no effort.
The new building will also have a pair of 10 ton overhead bridge cranes to facilitate work on the railway’s equipment.
A groundbreaking and dedication ceremony is to be scheduled in the next few weeks.
In recent years, the Marshfield Base Station has become a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts.
At 2,700 feet, Marshfield is the highest year-round, full-service facility on Mount Washington. Easily accessible by car or snowmobile, the Base Station is the primary gateway to winter hiking and backcountry ski trails on the Western Slopes of Mt. Washington.
The building is staffed throughout the winter and features plenty of secure parking as well as a food court/convenience store, gift shop, restrooms, and The Cog Railway Museum.
Weekend train trips to Waumbek Station (at 4,000 foot) are planned to commence with the completion of the new maintenance facility for the 2020-21 winter season.
The Mount Washington Cog Railway has been carrying visitors from all over the world to the summit of the Northeast’s highest peak since its inaugural trip on July 3, 1869.
The brainchild of businessman and New Hampshire native Sylvester Marsh, “The Cog” was the first of its kind in the world, and the only mountain-climbing cog railway currently operating in North America. With an average grade of 25 percent (some sections approach nearly 38 percent), it’s also the second steepest in the world.
Motive power is provided by a fleet of 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 authentic coal-fired steam engines.
Marshfield Base Station is located at 3168 Base Station Road, Mount Washington, just 6 miles from the historic Omni Mount Washington Hotel and Route 302 in Bretton Woods.
Go to thecog.com, or call (800) 922-8825 for general information or (603) 278-2256 for group booking information.