The Mount Washington Cog Railway, the first mountain–climbing cog railway in the world, is celebrating 150 years of operation in 2019. The Cog, as it is affectionately nicknamed, is in the White Mountains, 6 miles from the grand Mount Washington Hotel.
Once hailed as the “Second Greatest Show on Earth” by P.T. Barnum, The Cog has remained a key icon of the state’s heritage and has maintained its historic roots by allowing passengers to take the three-hour guided round-trip in a historically inspired coach powered by 1908 and 1875 vintage coal-fired steam locomotives or one of the modern biodiesel engines, all built on-site.
Wayne Presby, owner of the railway with his wife, Susan, says of the anniversary: “We consider the time we have spent at the railway a great honor. We feel that we have a solemn duty to the state of New Hampshire, its residents and all who have worked to keep the Cog Railway a viable entity. As the current owners of the railway, we intend to do everything in our power to continue to preserve, promote and enhance the railway and to ensure that 150 years from now it will be celebrating its 300th anniversary!”
To kick off the anniversary season, each day, the 150th rider on the railway will receive their ticket at the price it was in the opening year of 1869, $3. A series of events is planned to celebrate the season, starting with a 150th anniversary Gala on June 22, to include refreshments, presentations, a gift package, and an optional train and a fireworks display on the mountain. Tickets and information can be found at thecog.com/150gala.
Family activities are planned throughout the day on July 3 to honor of the date The Cog officially opened for business. The day will featureVictorian lawn games, a barbecue, birthday cake, music and more.
On Aug. 17 and 18, The Cog hosts its fourth annual Railway to the Moon festival, with costumes, live music and an interactive steampunk train ride, presentations and more.
The steampunk festival is a celebration of the inventiveness of Cog entrepreneur Sylvester Marsh and his will to build a “Railway to the Moon.” It is a combination of the Wild West, meets Jules Verne meets the Victorian Era with a circus atmosphere. The Cog Railway is at 3168 Base Road, Mount Washington. Information: thecog.com, or 800-922-8825.