View Full Version : West Coast Wildnerness Railway. -Tasmania-Australia.

1938 Observer
12th April 2012, 23:35
ABT Railway: West Coast Passion!

ABT Railway
As a boy growing up in England, I spent most of my spare time train spotting. When I was a teenager my favourite steam locomotives were being rapidly replaced by diesel and electric locomotives. With this, the magical attraction faded.

To read the narrative and view the photographs by Roger Findlay--just go to the link.....



The West Coast abt Wilderness Railway:
Queenstown - Strahan Tasmania

This 3ft 6in gauge railway on the west coast of Tasmania, was built through inhospitable and practically impassable wilderness in the late 1800s, to carry products of the copper mines from Queenstown, where smelters opened in 1897, and other related requirements to Queenstown like coke for the smelters etc.. There was no acCess to Queenstown by road until 1932, so trains were relied upon to bring provisions, mail, visitors, and to take locals on picnics to the beach near Strahan. There was a Mount Lyell underground mining disaster in 1912 and nearly half of the 42 victims were taken out in coffins on the railway. The railway connected Queenstown to the port of Strahan on Macquarie Harbour. It is some 35 Kms (or nearly 22 miles) long and generally follows the Queen and King rivers for much of the distance. However, to avoid the King river gorge, the railway had to essentially be constructed with steep climbs to Rinadeena, the high point above the gorge with the nature of the terrain dictating grades of 1 in 16 (6.25%) from Halls Creek to Rinadeena for about 2.25 kms for outgoing trains, and about 4.25 kms of 1 in 20 (5%) for trains to Queenstown between Dubbil Barril (the half way point), and Rinadeena in the other direction. As such grades are too steep for normal railroading, a rack railway of German patent was tested and proved satisfactory before the project was developed.

Read on at the link for the full text/history plus many more photographs http://users.nex.net.au/~reidgck/abt-rly.htm



13th April 2012, 05:08
Gordon, thank you for the link. I will spend lots of time enjoying the history.

What is it about old railways that has such a following, all over the world ?

I was fortunate in the early 1940's, to use the Speyside line to go from Boat of Garten to school at Grantown on Spey.

Even now I have the Bo'ness railway nearly on my doorstep !

My main computer has had a HD crash, and is in the process of repairs. I have had several train simulators, but the best is 'Steam'. A new all-on is from Edinburgh over the Forth Bridge and Tay bridges to Dundee, and then on to Perth. My computer guru has this now working, so I hope to have the computer back in a week or so...... can't wait !

I will take some screen shots and out them up here !!


13th April 2012, 13:03
Gordon...I cannot believe how very tropical the forests are in Tasmania!!! I also enjoyed seeing the little steam engine that could! Thanks, Joan

1938 Observer
13th April 2012, 21:49
Gordon...I cannot believe how very tropical the forests are in Tasmania!!! I also enjoyed seeing the little steam engine that could! Thanks, Joan

Hi Joan,
I'm pleased you enjoyed the show, It's not actually tropical [although it appears that way] it's described as "Temperate Rain Forest"

15th April 2012, 06:01
Gordon correctly informed you that it's not tropical in Tasmania :laugh2: It can be so cold there. I was there in April one year when my youngest son was in the Little Athletics NSW team and the nationals were held in Launceston in the north of Tassie. It was bloody freezing!!! :frown: I thought I was back in Scotland.


15th April 2012, 11:30
I was so wrong.:sigh: Never even considered you would have freezing weather there. I absolutely enjoyed seeing your country. Thanks.