With increasing maintenance costs and the improvement in road transport, the railway ceased transporting ore in 1963 and was almost forgotten. Until someone had the idea to re-establish the trip as a tourist attraction. That took a lot of work. Rail had to be relaid, bridges repaired, rolling stock acquired. But it got done and the wilderness tourist railway commenced operations in December 2002.
We took the journey on the West Coast Wilderness Railway from Strahan to Queenstown, but you can do it the other way if you like. We started out with a deisel locomotive but swapped over to the specialist ABT steam loco before we got to the ABT track system which is installed on the steepest part of the track.
And it’s a great ride. Through the thick rain forrest, over tressle bridges, crossing the King River – a trip of about 35km.