Presby Steel the owner of the Isaacson Steel Fabrication Plant at 40 Jericho Road, Berlin, NH has agreed to lease the fabrication 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. 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.
David Presby said “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. 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. We have been considering building a new shop at the cog railway base station or rehabbing the current shop buildings to enable us to work more efficiently. However, neither of these options can happen immediately, so the fabrication plant offers an ideal solution to give us time to do further planning. Besides we already do a lot of business with Presby Steel and Alpine Machine which are two of our key suppliers”.
The Cog Railway is beginning a major project to re-rail the entire railroad line from the base to the summit. This will entail replacing the current 25lb. rail with 100lb. rail. Presby steel will be custom making all the tie plates to be used in this project. As part of the project the railway has designed, and is in the process of fabricating, a new totally enclosed work car with lights, heat, an interior crane, Stanley hydraulic track tools, welders and generators. All of the steel for this fabrication work is also being supplied by Presby Steel. “The new work car will enable us to do track work on the rail line all winter and will offer much better working conditions during the summer when inclement weather hits Mt. Washington. With heat and lights the railway now has the capability of working on the tracks 24/7/365” said Wayne Presby.
The reopening of the fabrication plant will offer additional employment opportunities and business to residential businesses in the Berlin area. Two Hundred and Fifty-Six tons of the new rail to be used at the cog railway is scheduled to be delivered to the fabrication plant in August. Re-railing of the line has already begun and will begin in earnest this winter.