Trouble at Skyline. The crews of two Mt. Washington Railway trains scramble into action to clear a minor derailment at Skyline Switch that has the entire line blocked. The 10AM Train, with MWRC #9 in control, was descending from the summit, and according to the railway's SOP, was supposed to stop and take the spur track at Skyline, to allow the ascending 11AM Train an unobstructed climb to the summit. Unfortunately, in the process of crossing the old, manual switch, the orange coach put one of its wheel-sets off the rails. When you're at 5,600 ft. MSL on Mt. Washington, you can't call for a big hook. The crews have to do the best they can with the tools they have. On this day, the crews were obviously well-prepared. Within minutes, #9s crew had assessed the situation and deployed a couple of small "bottle jacks" to lift one end of their coach off the trestle. Then, as the ascending train powered by #2 arrived behind them, additional manpower became available and the coach was re-railed within about 15 minutes. The #9 was then able to push her train onto the spur track and the train powered by #2 continued up the hill.
The worst accident in the history of the Mt. Washington Railway, and the only one involving passengers also began here in September of 1967. The complex manual switch, which required a fair amount of skill as well as physical strength to actuate, was apparently not configured correctly for a descending train. Crossing this switch, a descending train powered by MWRC #3 derailed, putting the locomotive on its side and sending the coach filled with passengers careening several hundred feet down the hill, where it eventually struck a large rock. Eight passengers were killed and more than 70 others injured. Today, the railroad has no more of those manual, "Survivor puzzle" switches. Hydraulic switches are located at the Base Station, and on the 1800 ft. passing loop at Waumbek Tank. The spur and switch seen in this photo have been completely removed. A new passing arrangement is under construction at the summit.