Frequently Asked Questions about the Mt. Washington Cog Railway

Frequently Asked Questions

For ticket policies and frequently asked questions, please click here.


Frequently Asked Questions about the Mt. Washington Cog Railway: Riding the Mount Washington Cog Railway is an amazing experience! Below are the answers to some common questions guests have before arrival, along with some tips to maximize your trip to the Summit of Mount Washington on the First Mountain Climbing Train in the World! 

What is Platform A, B & C?

Great question! Our platforms are used to board our trains. All the trains run from the same place, at the same time. However, we don’t always run all 3 (and sometimes 4!) trains. So we recommend you booking your tickets in alphabetical order i.e. platform A, B, C, D.

A picture of three trains and the three (A,B,C,) Boarding Platforms at the Mount Washington Cog Railway
Boarding Platforms at the Mount Washington Cog Railway

When should I arrive for my train?

Please plan to arrive before your departure time in plenty of time for ticketing and restroom visits. There are no restrooms on the trains, but there are at the Base Station & the Summit.  It is suggested that passengers use the restrooms, gift shop and restaurant at Marshfield Base Station prior to and/or after their excursion. 

To make sure you get the seats you want you will want to arrive early! We only hold reservations until 15 minutes before departure!  Once we start boarding, if you haven’t picked up your tickets we release them and open them to the public. If you arrive late, we will attempt to put you on the train you reserved, however if we are unable to do that, we will attempt to get you on the next available train.

A view of the boarding process at the Mount Washington Cog Railway
A view of boarding on the Mount Washington Cog Railway

This is your typical boarding process. To secure your desired seating we suggest you arrive early to secure your seat(s)!

Do I Need a Reservation?

Reservations aren’t required, however, we do sell out most trains and use assigned seating, so we highly recommend getting reservations, especially if you require a certain time. For holiday periods and most daily steam trains, reservations are extremely recommended as they can be sold out ahead of time.

Why can’t I buy a One Way Down in Advance?

We would love to sell you a one way down ticket in advance, but we choose not to for several reasons:

  • There is no guarantee that a train will make it to the Summit. Inclement weather can happen at any time and occurs frequently, and the last thing we want to do is leave you stranded on the top of the mountain! Always be prepared to hike back down just in case!
  • The Railway operates on a strict schedule. If you are not on the top when the train departs, we still have to leave, and can’t promise there will be room on the next available trains or even if there will be another train going to the summit.

General Information

The Mount Washington Cog Railway is open for business from mid April through November. Throughout the season, the Cog hosts events and offers various specials and discounts on select trains. The train schedule is available on our booking page. We strongly suggest you book your tickets in advance because capacity is limited and trains sell out on a routine basis.

  1. All schedules, fares and motive power are subject to change without notice. Train trips may be shortened due to extreme weather. In this event, passengers will be provided a credit toward the purchase price of their ticket.
  2. The Cog Railway primarily operates clean, environmentally friendly and efficient biodiesel locomotives.  Coal-fired steam locomotives will generally be operated twice each day. 
    View our train schedule here.
  3. You may purchase tickets at the ticket office, but advance ticket purchase is recommended and available online up to the departure time of any train 
    Buy Tickets Online here.
  4. Our coaches are historic in design, with narrow door openings. However, every effort is made to accommodate special needs. Please call ahead for assistance.
  5. Coaches are enclosed and heated when necessary, and run in all weather. Temperatures at the summit of the mountain are much cooler – be sure to bring ample clothing.
  6. Smoking is not permitted on any train or in any of our buildings at any time.
  7. Passengers may not carry alcohol on board at any time. (RSA 179.27)
  8. Please arrive early to allow plenty of time for ticketing and rest room visits. All trains board 15 minutes before departure on a first-come, first-seated basis. It is suggested that passengers use the restrooms, gift shop and restaurant at Marshfield Base Station prior to and/or after their excursion.
  9. There are no restroom facilities on the train. There are restroom facilities at the visitor center on the summit.
  10. Only service animals are allowed on the train. (No pets, please.)
  11. Some trains are authentic coal-fired steam, please dress accordingly and be prepared to experience coal smoke and cinders from burning coal.  It is suggested that dark clothing be worn.
  12. Strollers, car seats and coolers are not allowed on the train. Carry-on items must be small enough to fit on your lap.

Group Rates

Group Rates are available, please visit our Group Page for details.

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