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On a clear autumn day, just after the first snowfall, a coal fired loc pushes up a wagon along Mount Washington's cog railway, situated in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, New England USA.

The railway ascends the mountain beginning at an elevation of approximately 2,700 feet (820 m) above sea level and ending at the summit of Mt. Washington at an elevation of 6,288 feet (1,917 m). It is the second steepest rack railway in the world with an average grade of over 25% and a maximum grade of 37.41%. The railway is still in operation, using seven steam locomotives and one biodiesel powered locomotive. The railway is approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) long.

The railway was built by Sylvester Marsh of Campton, who came up with the idea while climbing the mountain in 1857. His plan was treated as insane. Local tradition says the state legislature voted permission based on a consensus that harm resulting from operating it was no issue — since the design was attempting the impossible — but benefits were guaranteed: The $5,000 of his own money he put up, and whatever else he could raise, would be spent largely locally. The railway is sometimes called "Railway to the Moon" because one state legislator remarked during the proceedings that Marsh should not only be given a charter up Mount Washington but also to the moon. After developing a prototype locomotive and a short demonstration section of track, he found investors and started construction.

Despite its incomplete state, the first paying customers rode in 1868; the construction reached the summit in 1869.

(source : wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by Paul Bulteel (pauloog) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1416 W: 79 N: 1894] (11747)
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