Presby Steel, the owner of the Isaacson Steel Fabrication Plant in Berlin, has agreed to lease the plant to the Mount Washington Cog Railway for use as an additional winter shop for the maintenance and building of its locomotives and passenger coaches.
David Presby acquired the Isaacson Steel fabrication plant at an auction held several years ago. Meanwhile, his brother Wayne Presby, the president of the Cog Railway, has been exploring the idea of replacing or expanding its workshops at the base of Mount Washington.
“I am ecstatic to be working with my brother Wayne and the Cog Railway to provide them with a state-of-the-art facility for them to maintain and expand their current fleet of operational locomotives and passenger coaches,” David Presby said. “The Isaacson Steel Fabrication Plant is an ideal facility with its 11 overhead bridge cranes, 50,000 square feet of work space and ease of access to the businesses and current suppliers of the Cog Railway.”
Wayne Presby was equally enthusiastic about the prospects. “We have expanded our fleet of operational locomotives and coaches over the last several years to the largest in its history and quite frankly we don’t have the space we need to store and work on the current equipment.”
He says they have been considering building a new shop at the base station or rehabbing the current shop buildings, but neither options could happen immediately, so the fabrication plant offers an ideal solution.
The Cog Railway is beginning a major project to re-rail the entire line from the base to the summit, replacing the current 25-pound rail with 100-pound rail. Presby steel will be custom making all the tie plates. As part of the project, the railway has designed, and is in the process of fabricating an enclosed work car with lights, heat, an interior crane, Stanley hydraulic track tools, welders and generators, which will enable work on the rail line all winter, said Wayne Presby.