|Today we went on a trip on the West Coast Wilderness Railway, from Strahan to Queenstown, approx 37km.
We left 8am and got back 6.30pm. This was an interesting, however slow trip, winding through rain forests, and gorges at a very slow speed. The Train and the line have been restored for trips for tourists. The original line was built 130 years ago to take minerals to the port at Strahan.
The day started with showers, then we had glimpses of sun, until we ended the day with mostly sun, so that was really great. It is pretty hard going for the little train with steep climbs and sharp descents. So an Abt rack and pinion system is used to help the train pull up the climbs and go slowly down sharp descents. They don't use coal now, but refined sump oil is used instead.
We were entertained with stories of the building of the track and how people lived then. Can't imagine how they lived and worked in the cold. Along the way we stopped five times for 20 minute breaks, to let the train rest, or fill it with water. These were also toilet stops as there are no toilets on the train. Also able to stretch our legs.
We were given scones for morning tea, could have tea and coffee anytime, and fruit and cheese and crackers were also given later. Lunch was preordered and we had that at Queenstown. Salmon and cous cous.
The scenery was really beautiful and well worth the trip.
Queenstown is a really sad town, the buildings are falling apart and there is very little work for people.
Our little train found it hard going and in the end we had to get a second Diesel engine to bring us the last half home.