Cog Railway Delivers Fun, Educational Group Tours
Long known for its breath-taking climb up the tallest peak in the Northeast, the historic Mount Washington Cog Railway in Bretton Woods, NH, is garnering new appeal as a destination for senior-class trips, student-travel programs, and educational tours.
Located just three hours north of Boston in the dramatic Presidential Range of the Appalachian Mountain Trail, The Cog is the world's first mountain-climbing railroad. It uses a unique rack-and-pinion design developed by inventor Sylvester Marsh in 1869. The first run of the morning harkens back to the Industrial Revolution with the only round-trip ride powered by a coal-fired steam engine.
Tour groups interested in 21st century technology can choose any number of times throughout the day to experience the clean efficiency of the biodiesel locomotives that were designed on site. Another green-friendly technology is the solar panels that regulate hydraulic switches which enable two opposing trains to pass each other safely around the Waumbek Water Tower. A third high-tech feature on the 6288' alpine ascent is the synchronized GPS tracking system which prompts a well-documented audio tour narrated by Emmy Award-winning TV host Fritz Wetherbee.
Tickets for the three-hour round trip include free admission to two exhibition halls and one historic site. The Cog Museum at the Marshfield Base Station provides a variety of self-guided visual, auditory and video displays that highlight the mountain's natural and man-made history. The Observatory Museum at the summit of Mount Washington explains the environmental systems that create the Earth's weather and climate. Groups can also tour for free the historic Tip Top House, the 1853 hostelry built when hiking was the only means of reaching the windswept mountain peak.
Group-tour participants have an opportunity to strike a balance between fun and purpose when they choose the historic and innovative Mount Washington Cog Railway. As a centrally located destination in the Granite State, and the only alpine train ride east of the Rockies, The Cog is easily incorporated into any itinerary designed for New England travel.