West Coast Wilderness Railway
Trip Start Mar 19, 2012
63Trip End Apr 28, 2012
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What I did
… West Coast Wilderness Railway
Today we had a trip on one of the world's great train journeys on a fully restored historic steam locomotive from Strahan to Queenstown (and by coach back to Strahan) – 35 kilometres of train track. It was a slow relaxing journey in majestic wilderness (no walking up stirs or rainforest tracks with possible leaches!!!) with interpretive commentary and on-board guides. We left Strahan at about 10am and got to Queenstown at 3pm (with about 3 stops – one for lunch!) then back to Strahan by about 4pm.
The West Coast Wilderness Railway is a restoration of the original Mt Lyell Mining and Railway Co
A bit less than half of the track has the unique Abt rack and pinion system to get the train up and down the steep grades – usually trains lines can only negotiate grades of 2.5% but with this rack & pinion it manages grades of 5% and 6.25%. The system involves a middle rail of solid bars with vertical teeth – small cogwheels under the loco engage with the teeth on the middle rail. (I’ll include some photos of this so you can see what it looks like!)
At several places in Tasmania, their unique honey has been promoted and tastes given – leatherwood honey. Bee hives are set up in the forests near leatherwood trees and this is the result. Quite a few people have recommended the honey to us and we were keen to try it. We have tried it now and we both agree that it must be an acquired taste .. and therefore are not bringing any home.
Back to the cabin – washing done (line up with the washers and dryers tonight!!!) and John cooked lamb loin cutlets. Pack up tomorrow and moving on – Cradle Mountain did not have any accommodation – other than expensive options … so we have booked at Sheffield and will be spending time at Cradle Mountain on the way!