April Issue

Current Issue
May 2018

Business of the Year winners announced, big events, staffing in a tight market, and more. Purchase your copy or subscribe to BNH today.


Newsletter Signup

Sign up for email updates for when the new magazine comes out.



Change in Ownership at Mt. Washington Cog Railway
Published Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Joel and Catherine Bedor, owners of the Mt. Washington Cog Railway in Bretton Woods, retired in April, selling their interest in the company to their partner, Wayne Presby. 

The Cog Railway is a National Historic Engineering Landmark. Its first locomotive, Old Peppersass, reached the summit of Mount Washington on July 3, 1869, making it the world's first mountain climbing railroad using a toothed cogwheel to engage the rack between the rails.

The Bedor and Presby families have operated the Railway since and they and a group of other investors purchased the Cog Railway from Ellen Teague in 1983. Joel Bedor has been the company's treasurer for 34 years, was president from 1986 to 1991 and has been chair of the board since 1991. That same year, the Presby and Bedor families, with other investors, bought the Mount Washington Hotel, and Joel Bedor became president of that company until its sale in 2006. 

During the last 34 years, the railway has been a family affair, with Cathy Bedor serving as the company's marketing director and their son, William, working during high school and college in several positions, including engineer and more recently CFO. The Bedors and Presbys brought a commercial power line to the base station, built a new base lodge, restored an aging fleet of steam locomotives and coaches and more recently have replaced many of the steam locomotives with eco-friendly biodiesel locomotives, and have updated the coaches with larger and more comfortable models allowing ridership to more than quadruple during their 34 years of ownership. In addition, major portions of track have been replaced and more efficient solar powered hydraulic switches have been designed and installed on the mountain.

"A dedicated and expert group of managers and staff have made it possible for us to restore an aging and tired business founded in 1869 and make it the leading attraction in the White Mountains," says Joel Bedor. "I am confident that under the continued leadership of Wayne Presby, the Mount Washington Cog Railway will continue to prosper and be a major economic engine for the White Mountains."

Send this page to a friend

Show Other Stories