New Hampshire Transportation Landmarks Get Green Makeover

In New Hampshire, the M/S Mount Washington and the Mt. Washington Cog Railway are historical transportation landmarks, but they’ve recently been updated with new technology and environmentally-friendly engines. These 19th century attractions are now more efficient than ever.

In 1869, the first cog-driven train, “Old Peppersass” climbed Mt. Washington powered by wood-fired boilers. Three years later, the first S.S. Mount Washington cruised on Lake Winnipesaukee under steam power. Today, both cruises and locomotives use new technology to provide a greener service with the same great traditions.

The Mt. Washington Cog Railway, considered a National Historic Engineering Landmark, used wood-fired boilers for the first 40 years. Around 1910, coal was introduced into the railway operation. In 2008, the Mt. Washington Cog Railway started using biodiesel power engines, continuing the tradition of innovation and improvement, which reduces emissions and conserves fossil fuels.

The M/.S Mount Washington also received improvements as technology developed. In 1946, the second Mount Washington switched from steam power to twin diesel engines and the ship was rechristened the M/S (for “Motor Ship”) Mount Washington. In 2010, two new environmentally-friendly engines substituted the old ones, reducing the nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and particulate emissions by up to 90%, according to the EPA.

The MT. Washington Cog Railway have restored all six coal-fired locomotives, built a new base station, replaced the tracks, and improved the switching system. For 2013, they prepared a special and fun program for all ages that include a Ride & Observatory Tour, a Photo Workshop Tour, and Railfan’s Day.

The M/S Mount Washington also made some renovations below the deck: a new Captains Lounge on the second deck will provide 270-degree views of Lake Winnepesaukee and the surrounding mountains. For the 2013 season, passengers can expect daytime scenic, evening dinner and dance, and special themed cruises.

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