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“Cute little steam engines”

The Mount Washington Cog Railway
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$74.00*
and up
Full-Day Trip to Mount Washington from Boston
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$179.00*
and up
Day Trip to Mount Washington Cog Railway from Southern New Hampshire
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Owner description: Climb to the top of Mount Washington on the world's first mountain-climbing Cog Railway trains!
Harrogate, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Cute little steam engines”
Reviewed November 9, 2006

If you are a steam enthusiast, and are prepared to view your visit as one to a living, working museum, then you will love this mini railway.

Whilst far from being a steam enthusiast, I do recall seeing the Flying Scotsman and the Mallard, in the heyday of steam, as a boy, in England, and have always had a soft spot for steam engines.

These little trains are lovingly kept running, in tip top condition, manufacturing parts if necessary, by a team of dedicated people and, in my view, it really is a living museum. True the admission fee is high, but, for me, well worth it, and our visit there, was one of the more memorable days, in NH, with which, if I’m honest, I was not all that impressed with for scenic beauty. I guess I’ve been spoilt by more rugged N. American scenery, the English Lake District mountains and European mountains, generally.

After we bought our tickets, we were told to be at the train by a certain time, with which we duly complied. It was virtually full, with only 2 seats, apart from one another, left. When we offered to go on the next train, so as to be together, my wife and I were told we couldn’t, as tickets are only valid for the departure time stamped thereon. A very obliging lady gave up her seat and sat next to her brother as opposed to her husband, and we were soon on our way, sitting next to one another.

As we knew before departure, there was a lot of low lying cloud (see photos attached), so we saw very little scenery and nothing at the summit at all.

At the summit there’s a cafeteria, a museum and the usual amenities, but, we were surprised to hear that we had to be back at the train, in 20 minutes, to be guaranteed a seat on that train, or we were standby on the next. Not wishing a repetition of what had gone before, I stayed by the train, at the head of the queue, in the bitter cold, after a minute or two of exploration of the summit facilities.

The weather was deplorable: very cold and foggy, but, if it had been pleasant, we would have been most unhappy that we would have been unable to relax at the summit, at our leisure, and take in the views, possibly have a picnic, take photos and generally soak up the ambiance of the place, without pressure of time. Naively, I had assumed that one could have spent as long as long as one wished, as long as one caught the last train of the day.

At least coming back, we were in the front row of the car, so we had a good view of the engine, the braking system being operated by the entertaining guard, and I got some good photo opportunities. Incidentally, they do allow you to move around the car to take shots, if you can’t from where you’re seated.

I found the ascent and descent quite fascinating. How those old, little, steam trains chug all the way to the top and come back down again is quite something else.

I enjoyed the museum at the base station and watching trains being fuelled and departing up the mountain again, but, as I say, I do have a certain fascination with engineering marvels from the turn of the century. If one did not have this, I would not recommend it at all. It would be a very expensive trip, in particular for a family, which is hardly warranted, in my view, bearing in mind the short, 20 minute stay at the summit.

I took lots of pictures of the trains at the base station, on the journey up and down and at the summit. If you’re interested, they may be accessed at:

http://www.isb.smugmug.com/gallery/2093416

One of the more memorable days of my holiday in VT, NH & ME in 2006.

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6 Thank Trinian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Buffalo
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“rip off”
Reviewed October 29, 2006

thought this would be fun. it was the longest slowest trip ever. very expensive. my fault that i brought our one year old son on board. however, i think it goes 3mph on the way up and 5 on the way down. that wouldnt be so bad except that the train stops 3-4 times each way to let another train pass. additional slowdown: track and grass kept catching fire on the way up and the workers had to keep putting out small brush fires. at the top i literally had ten minutes to look around and then get back on. i never really took in the view. open window on train on the way down because it was hot. bits of coal all over my hair and clothes. nice. do yourself a favor and drive up/hike to the top. you could not pay me to do it again.

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13 Thank bizbal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centereach, NY
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Not worth the price”
Reviewed October 13, 2006

My family rode the Cog Railway while on vacation in New Hampshire this summer. The cost was $57 per person, which was high, but we hoped would be a fun trip. The ride up the mountain was fine. However, once we got to the top we were only given 20 minutes to climb and walk around, take in the different views, visit the museum, and take pictures. If you stopped to go to the bathroom you lost most of your time. If you did not board your train to return you were not guaranteed a seat on another train but would be placed on standby. If you ask to speak to a supervisor you will be told that everyone is in a meeting. Phone calls and letters are never responded to by management. I would recommend taking the Mt. Washington Auto Road or the Scenic Gondola Ride instead. They are less expensive and you have more time to enjoy the sights. In my opinion the Cog Railway is a tourist trap!

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19 Thank Tourist06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne P, Owner at The Mount Washington Cog Railway, responded to this review, May 9, 2012
Thank you for riding the cog railway. I am sorry that you did not enjoy your trip. We take all comments received on trip advisor very seriously. In response to your concern about the lack of time at the summit we designed and built new biodiesel powered engines. The round trip still takes 3 hours, but you now have an hour at the top so you have time to visit the all the facilities at the summit. We have also been training our staff in customer service so they respond to customer concerns more appropriately.
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Millwood, NY
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 211 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience”
Reviewed September 1, 2005

My family and I enjoyed this 3 hour round trip ride up Mount Washington on a cog railroad. The price is steep ($133 for 2 adults and a child) however it is worth doing at least once.

Unfortunately for us it was raining when we rode the train up the mountain, however it did make us truly experience the ferocious weather at the top of the mountain! Even though it was about 70 degrees at the base of the mountain, it was only 50 degrees at the peak and the wind was so strong that it actually makes you feel you will fly away! There is an observatory at the peak, steps from the train, where there is a little museum about the mountain and a cafe.

I would definitely recommend a ride up the mountain. My son who is 7 years old really enjoyed it as well.

Make sure you take a jacket up there and wear socks and shoes!

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20 Thank mags2198
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne P, Owner at The Mount Washington Cog Railway, responded to this review, May 9, 2012
Thank you for riding the cog railway and your great review!! The weather on the Mt. Washington can be severe. The mountain has the highest wind speed ever recorded by man. In April of 1934 the wind speed was recorded at 231 mph.
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A TripAdvisor Member
“FUN FUN FUN”
Reviewed June 9, 2002

We went with a wedding party on the cog railway. I did not think it was something I would enjoy. Boy, was I wrong. It was very enjoyable. The views are fabulous! The story behind the railway was extremely interesting! Just be sure to bring warm clothes for when you reach the top of the mountain, because, boy is it ever cold! I highly recommend this activity for ALL ages!

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34 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne P, Owner at The Mount Washington Cog Railway, responded to this review, May 9, 2012
Thank you for riding the cog railway!! I am so glad you enjoyed your experience. You definitely need to bring warm clothing because of the large temperature differential between the base and the summit. If you enjoy history, the story of when and how the railway was built is fascinating.
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