Storm damage closes Cog Railway for remainder of season

  • Damage to the base trestle from the Oct. 29 storm and subsequent flooding of the Ammonoosuc River has closed the Cog Railway for the rest of the 2017 season. Cog Railway

Monitor staff
Saturday, November 04, 2017

The Mount Washington Cog Railway won’t run until next spring because flooding of the Ammonoosuc River damaged a trestle bridge at the base lodge near Bretton Woods and left so much debris on the tracks that the railway is inoperable.

The Cog was scheduled to operate every weekend through the end of November but owner Wayne Presby announced Friday that the famous tourist railway would shut for the season because of damage from the Oct. 29 storm, which dropped up to 5 inches of rain throughout the White Mountain region, causing extensive damage.

Several state roads, notably Route 302 in Crawford Notch, had to be shut because of damage from the storm.

“The trestle will be repaired and the tracks inspected before operations resume. The railway expects to re-open for its regular season in the spring of 2018,” Presby said in a statement.

The Cog Railway was the world’s first train to use a mountain-climbing technology in which trains are pulled uphill not by the wheels gripping the main rails but by cog wheels that mesh into a toothed rack rail in the middle of the track. It is the second-steepest such railway in the world, with an average grade of over 25 percent and a maximum grade of 37 percent.

It carries more than 110,000 passengers to the summit of Mount Washington each year.

For information about the 2018 schedule, check the website, thecog.com.