Friday, October 3, 2014

Traveling Around New Hampshire: Mount Washington Cog Railway

We were surprised when we got to the ticket booth at 10:30 and were told that the next tickets available were for the 1:30 train. We looked around the museum at the base station for a while and I did have some criticisms of it.
 Right now the TV running the movie is an ancient RCA with a frame held together with scotch tape on one side. The front seat is unusable because you are too close to the screen. The sound is poor and there are no captions for the hard of hearing. These problems could be solved with a large flat screen TV set back just a little further with a better sound system and captions on the film. 
trains at the base station

on the balcony looking at Halloween decor

Old Peppersass train #1
We decided to go back to the RV for lunch rather than have a fast food grease lunch at the Base Station Cafe. Promptly at 1:00 we were in line and boarding at 1:15. 
Train coming down. We are on the siding.

At the first switch after the water tank the switch won't go back. We are stuck on the siding with 2 other cars and their locomotives. Two guys went up to fix it. The switch is broken, so we are backing down to the lower switch. Then we will go up the other side. 45 minutes delay. The parallel tracks are for the down trains to pass by the trains going up.  As we pass the broken switch, we are told that this has never happened before.  People are still working on it and plan to send for more parts.

The weather at the top. 100 miles visibility. 7 mph winds and 46 degrees. In 1934 they clocked winds at 231 mph. Also never gets warmer than 73. Only 45 clear days a year and this is one. We pass over the Appalachian trail and see some hikers. 
The Appalachian trail and the cairn markers pass under the trestle.
The cairn markers are necessary for when there is poor visibility.
We have 1 hour before we head back. The museum on top tells about the harsh conditions up here for the caretakers in the winter. The Tip Top House is an old stone hikers hotel. Restored and just for looking at now.

The view from the overlook is amazing. 
Snow and ice are in the forecast for Sunday.
 2 minutes 47 seconds is the fastest time on the track on a shingle or slide board. The workmen used them to slide down the tracks after work. I believe they are illegal now. A woman holds that record. Or so the brake man says. Her husband said he thought he would not see her again when they met in the bar afterwards.
woman on the devil shingle

 We'll take about 45 minutes to go down. Braking seldom on the way. The biodesiel engine is strong enough to hold the passenger car. With the coal burning steam engine they have to constantly brake since the engine is not as strong. Some places people have been throwing coins out. William said he saw a pile in one place. They did fix the broken switch. We pass a train that is on the way up waiting on the siding. 

The steam engine is parked near us below the base lodge.
They have to keep the fire burning all the time so they don't have to restart it in the morning. It only runs once a day in the morning. It takes an hour and a half to get up and down.
Hot coals in the boiler. Naturally Grandpa climbed in the untended engine.
Pick up your belongings. The brake man tells about the strangest item left on the train. A set of dentures. The person called 3 weeks later and they mailed them to Florida.
End of the line. End of a fun trip.

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