Tazzie Trip 2008-09

Strahan - Queenstown Rail PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 17 January 2009 04:06

For all pictures from this rail trip, click here.

This was perhaps the highlight of the trip for me - a three hour train ride through the rain forest on a renovated steam train which runs on the ABT system. (A cogged system for climing steep hills that ordinary trains don't have enough grip for.) There was some great scenery on the way...

The journey is relatively short distance wise but takes quite a while as the train averages around 15-20km/h

From Strahan - Queenstown Rail

 The train was shipped over in pieces and assembled in Australia. It has since been restored and operates daily.


From Strahan - Queenstown Rail

 Part of the journey is on a grade between 1 in16 and 1 in 20, which is too steep for a normal train. Instead, this train has a second drive system that kicks in on the steep bits to provide grip going up and braking coming back down.

From Strahan - Queenstown Rail

 There are three carriages, each built from a different type of timber. They are built to the design of the original carriages.


From Strahan - Queenstown Rail

 The train passes through some of the wettest areas in Australia. Most of the trip is through rainforest, and much of it snakes along a river. Part of the river is dead due to many years of pollution from mining, but is slowly coming back to life.


From Strahan - Queenstown Rail

There are about 14 bridges along the way, all of which required restoration. The entire project of restoring the train, the line and the bridges was about $30 million.


From Strahan - Queenstown Rail

You do get quite up close with the train itself. Meals are served at a mid way point, and the size of the meails was big enough to count for both lunch and dinner as well.

I think the price for this trip was close to $126 each including the return trip by coach. There was one optional hidden extra in the form of a book that tells you more about the train and the line, $7.50 each.

From Strahan - Queenstown Rail

The commentary was excellent as well, with a chatty fella in one of the three carriages broadcasting away through a clear audio system - certainly far better than a cityrail announcer!



The steam train doesn't actually take you for the entire journey. About half way through you change from a Diesel to the Steam Loco. (Probably because they have parallel services or something like that.) Below you can see them turning the train around in readiness for the next trip.


Queenstown is an interesting stop in itself, although there isn't much time for exploring before the bus comes to take you back. It is an old mining town with areas that look like a desert. It has many houses that lack certain features such as glass in the windows or tin on the roof. If you have a car, it might be a good place to drive around. (You'll pass through it if driving from Hobart to Strahan.)

From Strahan - Queenstown Rail

Anyway, so that's more or less where our journey ends. From there it was a 4 hour drive back to Launceston, time to return the car, and then a flight back to Sydney. Quite a pleasant break. It seems Tasmania lives largely for it's tourism, which makes sense given the tourist's delight that it is, and since it doesn't require a passport to get there from Australia, it's one of the easiest 'overseas' trips you can make :)


Last Updated ( Sunday, 18 January 2009 04:55 )

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