West Coast Wilderness Railway, Tasmania


Lynchford is the first station upon leaving Queenstown. The locomotive must refill with water at Lynchford for the steep uphill climb to Rinadeena. For the 30 minute trip up the rack and pinion section of the line to the summit, it uses 3000 litres of water. The railway originally opened in 1897 to transport copper from the mines in Queenstown. It ceased operation in 1963 due to high maintenance and operating costs. The line was rebuilt as a tourist railway and opened in 2002. It mostly follows the original alignment from Queenstown to Strahan. There are three operational steam locomotives on the line. This is ABT3, or “Black Beauty”. The locomotive was originally coal-fired, but was later converted to oil as this was more efficient on the grades. The locomotive holds 2000 litres of oil and 3000 litres of water. Rinadeena is at the summit of a long rack and pinion section up the steep gradient. Some of the gradients are as steep as 1 in 15 (6.67%). The locomotive has two internal pistons that drive the pinion gear for these steep hills. The railway uses an ABT rack and pinion system. This features two offset racks and pinions to ensure that there is continuous contact between the rack and the locomotive. On the downhill sections, the rack and pinion system provides a third of the total braking force. This is the picturesque King River Gorge. The railway is 65 metres above the water level here. Dubbil Barril is the terminus for half-day trips. The locomotive is removed from the train and run to an inspection pit. The gross weight of the locomotive is 28 tonnes. The turntable is hand-operated by the driver and fireman. The points are all manually-operated. This is the newly-built Queenstown Station, which houses the locomotives and rolling stock.

2 thoughts on “West Coast Wilderness Railway, Tasmania

  1. I thought this one had been abandoned a few years after the turn of the Millenium. I'm glad to see it's still around. Thanks for the video!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *