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Storm damage forces Cog Railway to bring successful 2017 season to an early close

Union Leader Correspondent

November 03. 2017 4:18PM
Damage to a Mount Washington Cog Railway trestle has brought a sudden end to another successful season. (Courtesy)

THOMPSON AND MESERVE’S PURCHASE — Three weeks earlier than expected, the Mount Washington Cog Railway has closed for the 2017 season due to damage caused by Sunday’s storm.

The storm, which ripped up roads, brought down trees and left hundreds of thousands of Granite Staters without power, concentrated its fury in Grafton and Carroll counties, including at the Cog, where debris carried by the Ammonoosuc River damaged a trestle near the base of the mountain.

No one was injured and no trains or buildings were damaged, said Becky Metcalf, marketing director for the world’s first mountain-climbing railroad.

The trestle wil be repaired in time for the Cog Railway to reopen next spring, she said.

Closing in on its 150th anniversary in 2019, the Cog Railway this weekend was poised to switch to a weekend-only schedule that would last into the extended Thanksgiving Day holiday, said Metcalf.

The damage to the trestle is unfortunate, she said, but the sting of the earlier-than expected closure is mitigated by the fact that 2017 was another “great year.”

The past six seasons have had record ridership with increased numbers each year since 2012, according to Metcalf.

There was no cost estimate for replacing the trestle and the Cog Railway is still assessing what other parts of the 2¾-mile track may have been damaged, she said.

In addition to damaging the trestle, flood waters from the Ammonoosuc closed Base Road, which connects the Cog to Route 302 in Bretton Woods, for two days.

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