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Mt. Washington Observatory, Cog Railway Seek Court Ruling On Summit Rights

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Two of the big players on the Northeast's highest mountain - the Mount Washington Observatory and the Cog Railway – are taking each other to court.

At issue is a 2009 agreement that lets Cog riders visit the nonprofit Observatory's museum for free. In exchange, it says the Cog will pay the Observatory a dollar per visitor.

But the Cog stopped paying in 2016. The Observatory says they're at least $200,000 overdue. Now, they're suing for that money - and seeking legal clarification of the usage rights on the mountain.

Railway owner Wayne Presby says the Observatory violated the museum fee agreement first. He plans to counter-sue.

The ruling on this case could also affect the usage rights of the state park, hiking clubs and the Mount Washington Auto Road.

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