The Mount Washington Cog Railway will begin its 2019 season starting April 6th, 2019!

Mount Washington Cog Railway Technology

Technology at the Mount Washington Cog Railway

What is a Cog?

cog 1 (kg, kôg) n. 1. One of a series of teeth, as on the rim of a wheel or gear, whose engagement transmits successive motive force to a corresponding wheel or gear.

Cog wheel and rack on display at Marshfield Base Station museum

The Cog Railway created and installed a Track Maintenance Car in 2019 that allows track work to happen 24/7, no matter the elements!

Think of a cog as the sprocket on your bicycle.  A chain wraps around the bicycle sprocket and propels the bike forward as you pedal.  Instead of a chain we use what is known as a rack which is designed much like the chain on a bicycle and looks similar.  However instead of wrapping around the cog, our cog climbs up the rack providing traction to climb and descend the mountain.  

A deep-rooted history of invention and fabrication has always been one of the Mount Washington Cog Railway’s most intriguing attributes. The Cog has had very few owners and has been in operation consistently for almost 150 years. It has adapted to and overcome adverse opinion, two world wars, the Great Depression, the Hurricane of ’38, and the challenge of technology to become one of New Hampshire’s most successful historical attractions.

Designated as a National Historic Engineering Landmark in 1976, The Cog was referred to as “One of the greatest wonders of all time” by the Boston Transcript at its inauguration in 1868 and P.T. Barnum declared it the “second greatest show on earth”.  It can certainly be argued that this is still true to this day.

The personal design and building of biodiesel locomotives continues the tradition of innovation and improvement that has characterized the Cog Railway since 1869. From being the first mountain climbing cog railway in the world, to the use of solar-powered track switches, to the advanced Parker IQAN on-board computer packages, the Cog continues to be a leader in cutting edge technology.

Technology Videos

The Mount Washington Cog Railway was featured on Motorweek Clean Cities! 
See the footage (link opens new window)

The Cog moved locomotive #8, Moosilauke, to its new home in Twin Mountain, NH at the intersections of Route 3 and Route 302 with the aid of a crane and tractor trailer trucks.

Technology Articles

A special crane train helps clear debris and rubbel from the sides of the tracks.
Past meets the Present in a display of all three generations of trains run at the Mount Washington Cog Railway.

The current cog ownership has been cleaning up the railway right of way thanks to the design and building of a new crane car.
Click here to view article (pdf file format 311 KB)

Cog Railway Ingenuity: The great engineering feats of the Cog
Click here to view article (pdf file format 357 KB)

The Cog Railway’s first biodiesel engine was featured in the John Deere Power Systems Publication, “Power Source” in 2008.
Click here to view article (pdf file format 738 KB)

Trains Magazine feature on the Biodiesel Engines at the Mount Washington Cog Railway
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