The entrance to the museum at the bottom of the cog railway...it was rainy when we started the trip.
This was the first cog railway in the US (well, now there are two) built in 1869. Since the grade is too steep (up to 37%) for a conventional railroad (and too long for a cable-car system) the train is driven by gears on the bottom of the engine which mesh with an endless series of gear teeth mounted between the rails.
The boiler on the engine is tilted relative to the rest of the train, so that it will be level during the climb. The engines are manually coal fired--something the environmentalists don't like. The Appalachian Trail crosses the tracks near the summit.
There is only a single track, so during the three-mile trip (at maybe 5 mph while you are moving) you have to stop on a couple of sidings to allow other trains to pass. The switches are very complicated since they involve not only the train tracks but also the gear teeth racks..
Documentation that Bill Spindler was in Maine--at last, I visit my 50th state (this was on Friday on the way towards Boston). George Bush wasn't home.