Devil’s Shingle

Going Down – The Quick Way, by rfinprc

I’ve been up and down Mt. Washington a few times on foot, and once in a MINI. Either way, it’s a fairly slow trip. MOT 03 attendees remember clear warnings from the Auto Road staff about not getting carried away, and we were shepherded up the mountain by their big white van.
The Autoroad web site includes a list of record times to the top of the Mountain on foot, car, and bike. But there’s a more obscure — and much faster — record for the fastest time down the mountain, and it’s held by the ominously named Devil’s Shingle:
Devil's Shingle

The Devil’s Shingle was used by workers building the cog railway as an easy way to get down the mountain (there’s no mention of how they got up the mountain in the first place). The device was basically just a plank of wood with a couple of steel plates that held the contraption on the tracks and served as brakes. More elaborate versions with upholstery and bins for tools were common.
The record time down the mountain was reported to be just over 2 1/2 minutes, and was rumored to be held by a Devil’s Shingle with nitrous boosters. CCM, did you have any ancestors who worked on the cog railway?

Read more about the fast way down at

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