April 17, 2019

Cog Rail Road NH Last of the Steam Engines

Cog Railway Last of the Steamers MT. Washington NH. A Full video ride of a Steam engine powered cog train tour to the summit of MT. Washington NH on the Cog Rail Road. Shot in 2012, by me, this video is of one of the last runs of the Steam engine driven cog train. Or so I thought,,. while not born in New Hampshire, I have lived there since the late 1970s. Having visited most of the “kiddie” tourist attractions on both sides of the Kancamagus Highway in my younger years, Tuckermans ravine was the after high school bid to concuer. Tuckerman’s is on the eastern side of MT. Washington and is regarded as a tough hike by many, not to mention somewhat dangerous. Perfect for two freshly graduated 18 year old's. Our first error, was packing more beer than gear, as we were to stay over night at the summit. These plans changed as we dragged our self to the summit, and the sleeting rain began to fall. We made our way across to the auto road and stuck out our thumbs. Thankfully we were picked up by a Volkswagen bus full of females, with whom we shared our remaining, very cold beer. I will just say at this point, that this was one of those moments in life, that I will recall even while driving a 2 wheel big wheel,,, if I live that long.

Working construction through out NH, I had the opportunity to stay at several hotel/motels in the Twin mountain, Bretton woods area where I became casual friends with the owners of the Carlson’s Lodge on Route 302. A great family place, by the way. On a clear day you can see the cog, And if the wind is right, hear it from the road. Some how, and within just a few miles of the cog railroad, I never found the time to take the ride. I love steam engines, and knew I would enjoy the view from the summit, certainly sweating less than the previous mountain climb. But, some how parting with the nearly 80$ cost of a ticket. I could also not forget the stories told by my grandmother, who road the Cog in the 1930s. Growing up in Long Island New York , till about 14, camping trips to New Hampshire White mountains, seemed like a trip to the north pole, not to mention Santa's’ Village was real.
Sometime between 2010 and 2011, stories of the Steam powered Cog train at MT. Washington, alluded to the Steam engines being retired in favor of the less expensive diesel engines. This to me was unacceptable, as there is no amount of Global warming to be reversed, by the decommissioning of engines like the Peppersass and brethren. The value of keeping antiques like this alive for future generations is exactly the kind of inspiration that nurtures innovation.
I had to get on the Cog R.R of MT. Washington before this took place. This is my video of that ride to the tip top house at the summit, July 2012. As of the writing of this story 2019, thankfully, the Steam engines are still pushing a passenger car up the MT. Washington, Cog Rail Road.
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