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Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
See also John Raby's blogs at www.rabylee.uk/linesidingindex.html


Friday, February 19, 2016

New Zealand January 2016. 6 - 2ft gauge lines: Ferrymead, Charleston, Denniston

2ft-gauge railways were never numerous in New Zealand, but there is plenty of interest in those that exist today.

There is a 2ft gauge railway at Ferrymead Heritage Park near Christchurch, with its track currently under reconstruction. It has two 'Planet' diesels (locked in the shed) and other rolling stock from Dominion Salt, Grasmere.

Galvanised salt wagons from Dominion Salt on display at the Ferrymead 2ft gauge railway.

The remains of a CSR steel cane truck from Fiji.
Parts of the Clyde Engineering first class carriage from the Fiji Free Train.
Other sections and the bogies from this car are stored nearby.

An interesting crane

At Charleston, on the west coast, Norwest Adventures run a cave rafting attraction on the Nile River. An adjunct to this is the Nile River Rainforest Train which runs along an attractive limestone gorge, a location for the BBC's 2001 "Lost World" TV movie.
The main locomotive is a steam outline diesel-hydraulic rebuilt from a Greenwood & Batley 4wBE loco (2280 of 1950).
Travelling through the Nile River Gorge

The second locomotive is CECIL, this time with a petrol engine.
It was also rebuilt from a battery loco, Wingrove & Rogers 795 of 1931.

Denniston is situated at the top of a high plateau near Westport. It was the home of a number of coal mines linked by rope-powered 2ft gauge wagonways to the top of the famous Denniston incline. This was actually two inclines, up which NZR coal wagons were hauled to be loaded with coal.

The 'Denniston Experience' is a tourist attraction featuring a 2ft gauge railway running along the side of a gorge on the trackbed of one of the old waggonways and into the Banbury Mine which first produced coal in 1880.

Old coal tubs half buried near the incline head.

The locomotive in use is heavily rebuilt Greenwood & Batley 2281 of 1950.

The train awaiting to depart from the station.

600 metres up, the Denniston Plateau was wreathed in mist.
The line snakes around the escarpment above a deep gorge.
The mine entrance. The train travels a short distance inside.

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