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


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Nauru - October 16-18 2014

I was fortunate enough to make a brief visit to Nauru last week and managed to see a few traces of its former railways. Phosphate mining commenced in 1907 with 2ft gauge railways. In 1937 the main line from the central mining plant to the processing plant was relaid as a double-track 3ft gauge line with oil-burning steam locomotives. It seems unlikely that the 2ft gauge lines survived for long (if at all) after the Japanese occupation but the main line continued, with Clyde diesels arriving from Australia from 1956 and later two Thomas Hill diesels. One 2ft gauge Orenstein & Koppel has been dragged out of the bush and is displayed at the port in poor condition.

It seems that the railway was last in operation about 5 years ago but some traces can still be found. Given that discarded machinery is everywhere, it is quite likely that a number of locomotive survive beneath the flourishing undergrowth.
This is a 2ft gauge railway cutting built through the coral pinnacles.
This part of the cutting was adapted by the Japanese as a makeshift gaol during their occupation in World War II..
A 2ft gauge Orenstein & Koppel locomotive on display near the port.

Abandoned 3ft gauge phosphate trucks are scattered around

The 3ft gauge double track lines are still clearly visible

The disused tipping facility at the processing plant

A brand new pair of wheelsets for a Thomas Hill diesel that never made it past the port facility

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