Train trip on the West Coast Wilderness Railway

Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014 at 11:00


Today was dedicated to travelling on the West Coast Wilderness Railway. The day started early to enable us to check out the Shop and the Tracks cafe all located at the Station in Queenstown. It was disappointing that the train is not travelling the full distance to Strahan, but the advantage is that the trip is now a return journey in the one day. The train stops at Lynchford (toilet stop and a chance to pan for gold), Rinadeena for morning tea and terminates at Dubbil Barril where the engine is uncoupled and turned around on a manual turntable then hooked to the other end of the 3 carriages for the journey back to Queenstown stopping at Rinadeena only. Rinadeena is at the top of a mountain pass and the engine worked hard to do the climb which at some places is 1 in 12 (1 metre rise for 12 metres travelled). Ordinary engines won't pull up that sort of climb but thanks to the ABT Geared line on the climbs it went up without trouble. Along the way we travelled down the banks of the Queen River to the junction with the King River then along the banks of the King River. The rapids on the King River were quite spectacular. Its a sobering thought that the pioneers of this venture built this line with picks, shovels and wheel barrows including deep cuttings and side cuts with shear cliffs to the river below. We left Queenstown at 0900 and returned at 1330 so it is well worth the cost and the chance to help maintain this great icon as a going concern. The railway organisation are in the process of repairing the rest of the line to Strahan and they are hoping to have it running all the way to Strahan next November. The trip may then revert to a one way each day trip, ie travel to Strahan one day and return to Queenstown the next day, we will have to wait and see.

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