Sylvester Marsh, while climbing Mount Washington encounters bad weather, causing him to
pursue the idea of a railway up the mountain.
Sylvester Marsh applies to the NH legislature for charters to build steam railways on
Mounts Lafayette and Washington. The New Hampshire legislature thinks the idea
impossible and suggests he amend his charter and continue his railway to the moon.
Sylvester Marsh forms the Mount Washington Steam Railway Company with $5,000.00 of his own
money Other early stockholders were Cheney Express Company, his son John Marsh,
Nathaniel White, Boston,
Montreal RR, Connecticut and Passumpsic RR, The Concord RR, and the Northern RR.
Locomotive #1, Hero, makes several demonstration runs on a rustic, temporary track on
August 29th. Construction started on the track and approximately 1/2 mile was built that
Work continues an the track and improvements at the base. The line was continued to about
1 mile up the mountain to the location of the present Waumbek tank.
Track work resumed in May and continued until October when a fierce winter storm caused
work to be stopped immediately about 500' from the summit. During this
period the famous Jacob's Ladder trestle was built. The trestle is 300' long and it
has a grade of 37.41%. The first paying customers rode from the Base to just above
Jacob's ladder. A second locomotive is needed and Walter Aiken is contracted to
build it, starting a life-long involvement for Aiken which would last until 1893.
Work resumed in June and the Cog Railway is completed to the summit of Mount Washington on
July 3rd. President Ulysses S. Grant and his family are among the
passengers in August.
1870 Railway runs with regularly scheduled runs. Locomotive
fleet is now 3.
First engine with horizontal boiler is built.
Branch line from Fabyans to the Base was built. This line allowed passengers
to depart from Boston and points beyond and travel to the summit of Mount Washington
entirely by rail! A transfer station was located at the Base at the site of the
present shops. Parts of the line are still very much in evidence today, including several
1883 A cog railway was built on Green Mountain (Cadillac Mountain
today) on Mount Desert Island in Maine. It's construction were extremely
similar to Mount Washington's. The two engines were later purchased and brought to
1884 Sylvester Marsh dies in Concord, NH at the age of 81. Mount
Washington railway comes under control of the Concord and Montreal Railroad.
1886 Walter Aiken becomes President of the Mount Washington Railway
Company and remained so until his death from a hunting accident in
Boston and Maine Railroad acquires the Cog.
Fire in the B&M's Lyndonville Shop in Vermont destroys several locomotives. It
was the practice of the B&M to move the Cog engines there for service.
Engine #9 Waumbek is delivered. Last new locomotive for 65 years.
Locomotives converted from wood to coal burning.
Old Peppersass makes a return to the mountain and her final run,
which ended in disaster.
Branch line from Fabyans was discontinued.
Colonel Henry N. Teague buys the Cog.
Great hurricane destroys much trackwork including Jacob's Ladder. Marshfield Station is
First of three switches is built at the Base. Switch at Waumbek Tank followed soon
Skyline Switch built.
Cog Railway shut down for 1943, 44, and 45
Arthur S. Teague becomes General Manager following Henry Teague's death.
aluminum passenger coach "Chumley" built at the Cog shops.
Teague becomes the owner of the Cog.
aluminum passenger coach "Thelma" built at the Cog shops.
Ellen Teague assumes ownership following the death of her husband, Arthur.
The Cog Railway celebrates 100 years of existence. Glen Kidder writes the first
comprehensive story of the Cog in his book, Railway to the Moon.
Engine #10, the Colonel Teague becomes the first new engine since 1908. It was built
at the Cog shops.
Experimental diesel "Spirit of '76" was built at the Cog shops. While
never fully operational, its intended use as a spare and work engine remains viable.
Electricity is brought in on the Base Road allowing winter work in the shops. A crew now
works at the Cog all year long. Donald Bray writes an up to date history of the Cog
in his book They Said it Couldn't be Done.
Engine #8 Tip Top is built at the Cog Shops. Ellen Teague sells the Cog to a group
of NH businessmen.
1984 Major overhauls begin on engines and tracks.
Brand new Marshfield Station is dedicated on the 125th. anniversary of the Cog. New
Victorian styled building contains a restaurant, gift shop, museum and restrooms.
U.S. Postal Service dedicates 20 cent stamp featuring MW Cog engine. The engine
featured is the Cloud built by Walter Aiken.
All new 70 passenger coach, #6 is built at the Cog Shop and put into service.
Ridership breaks records.
new 70 passenger coaches, #1, #3 are built at the Cog Shop. Marshfield Station is
lost to fire after a severe lightning storm.
designed transfer switch is built and installed at the Base. Engine #9
receives a sprag clutch and feedwater heater.
Special thanks to Mr. Donald Bray for
his suggestions and review of this page. He is the author of They Said it