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Cog Railway at Mount Washington, in NH

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by fishingpol, Aug 27, 2013.

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  1. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    We took a road trip to the Cog last week. I have wanted for many years to take the train up the mountain. Finally, we just went and did it. The temp was 75::F at the base station and about 53::Fat the summit.

    View from the base station looking up the first slope. Our destination is the peak at the right.

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    View from inside the passenger car looking up the first slope.

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    A shot of the pretty good sized trees at the lower part of the track. This pic gives an idea of the angle.

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    View looking downhill towards the water tank. The tank is fed from springs on the mountain and is used by the steam engines. They use about 1000 gallons of water per trip and 1 ton of coal. The bio-diesel engines use less about 12 gallons of fuel round trip. The trees are a lot shorter at this altitude.

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    Steepest grade of the trip. The trees are really stunted. It was hard to get a level picture trying to stand upright, and the car being on an angle.

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    Nearing the summit. Stone cairns marking the trail. Not a tree in sight.

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    The Tip Top house.

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    This is an idea of the slope going downhill at Jacob's ladder. These people were standing upright.


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    The weather was partly cloudy with a haze in the distance. The summit clouded in after we left and visibility was no more than a few hundred feet. It was a great trip and I would really recommend it. The brakemen told stories and the history of the railway to make it an excellent experience.


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    Dairyman, DevilsBrew, ScotO and 3 others like this.

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  2. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    Its just a couple of miles from my house. The biodiesel is made locally with leftover cooking oil. They have made a lot of friends since they have switched most of the trips to biodiesel. If the conditions were right, folks taking the steam trip would come down smelling of sulfur with soot all over them. You missed out on a tradition that used to occur where AT hikers used to "moon" the cog.

    They are also cleaning up the railroads ties that they used to just throw down on the ground.

    I prefer hiking up myself but definitely see the attraction and given that trip over the autoroad I would take the cog.
  3. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Good times!
    [​IMG]
  4. RED FRONTIER

    RED FRONTIER Member

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    Hiked up Washington may times before kids. Was thinking about the Cog as a way to introduce them. Nice about the Bio fuel. You could smell the cog before you could see it.
  5. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Great pictures, thanks. We always wanted to do this but the one time we made it up there a few years ago during train season the wait was 3-4 hours and we gave up.

    I know its a huge polluter but Id just have to do the steam train. Love the old steam trains. I wonder if they can convert the steamer to an oil fired burner and run that on veggie oil also?
    ScotO likes this.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for posting the pictures Jon. My wife and I considered going there the last time we were at Woodstock. Maybe the next time...
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  7. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    Beautiful country up there Peakbagger. The slope looked pretty cleaned up, just soot and cinders from what I could see. We discussed hiking up sometime. There is a trail at the base station and there was mention that it was a two hour hike. Does that sound right?
  8. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    For bio-diesel, it had little smell from the exhaust. The engines were actually not that loud, quieter than I expected.
  9. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    Jeremy, we booked on-line and yes it was a crap shoot. We looked at the 10 day forecast and had a stretch of good weather and decided to take a chance. Our kids are at the age where they could appreciate going up.


    Dennis, if you can get there some day, it will be well worth the trip.
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  10. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    We did the road up the mountain a couple of years ago on the bikes. The first Monday of Laconia Bike Week, the road is only open to bikes - no cars or trucks. Pretty sweet ride. I thought it was interesting that the first European to see the peak was Giovanni da Verrazzano, from his ship out in the Atlantic. What's also cool are the "Devil's Shingles" that the workers used to ride down the tracks at the end of the workday. Yowza!
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  11. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    I believe the 3 1/4 mile trip was done around 3 minutes on a devil's shingle. About 60 mph on a slab of wood. _g
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  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Does that go for the pedal bikes too?
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  13. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Looks like a great time Jon. My kind of trip, too! What could be better than mountains and a railroad ride, especially up an incline!!
    Thanks for sharing your pics.
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  14. Doug MacIVER

    Doug MacIVER Minister of Fire

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    WHY?
  15. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Southern Pacific, Union Pacific, and many others run their big steam excursion trains on diesel and biodiesel.......quite efficiently too....
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  16. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    As I'm sure Scotty well knows some of the most powerful steamers ever - think the UP Big Boys - ran on oil.

    A lot of locals, hikers, etc never liked the cog steamers, felt the plumes of black coal smoke ruined the pristine wilderness of the mountains. Switching to a cleaner fuel might be a way to keep the steam train operating.
  17. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    Stove pics from the Tip top House.
    IMG_4856.JPG IMG_4857.JPG



    Overkill fireplace andirons from down in Crawford Notch rest stop cabin.

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  18. Doug MacIVER

    Doug MacIVER Minister of Fire

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    why , because every piece of coal burned is bad. take a classic antique and make it fit my standards. omg
  19. Doug MacIVER

    Doug MacIVER Minister of Fire

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    how about the folks here that still burn coal, should they retrofit their stoves?
  20. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Oh please.. Many steam engines where designed from the start to burn oil after the turn of the century. Many older engines where converted also, well before wwII. Oil is an easier to handle and more energy dense fuel than coal.

    Stop with the knee jerk anti-environmentalism and do some research before spouting off.
  21. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    Mods, please shut this one down. It wasn't meant to be a environmental discussion.
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  22. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    End of the line.
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