The wilderness on the west coast
On Monday of this week David and I had an interesting steam train trip. We were visiting Strahan for some well deserved R&R. In the early morning and drove to Queenstown where, very excitedly we boarded a steam train on West Coast Wilderness Railway. It started out like Gillian’s Island, perfectly well. Along the way we were served drinks and delicious Tasmanian fare. Between Lynchford and Rinadeena Saddle however a certain part of the mechanism between the engine and the Abt rack and pinion track broke. The Abt rack and pinion allows a train to motor uphill and downhill. We were stuck in the middle of a rainforest for just over three hours. We were perfectly fine but an urgent need to go to the toilet was for the most part felt more pressing by the women. No toilet facility onboard though there was at each station … if we ever got to them.
We had two train driver engineers but they were not in a position to repair the damage. Three engineers drove from Strahan to Queenstown then trekked out to us on a high-wheel thingy to see if they could repair the problem. Running out of water was also a problem … not for us but for the engine.
Some people were taken off the train via the high-wheel thingy. But most of the passengers didn’t have a choice and sat it out. The children played UNO while the adults learned a lot about each other. Quite a happy occurrence.
Finally the engineers won the day at least enabling us to gingerly back down the mountain to the station we had passed hours earlier. A bus was waiting to ferry us all back to Queenstown. Everyone was happy enough and the staff were excellent - truly wonderful - all through the uncertainty. We were greeted at the ticket office on our return with a 100% refund of our fares. It was a great adventure notwithstanding, I found the orpiment so we have no complaints.
David & the steam engine at Lynchford.
When I took this photo I though "that's were we are going to ... up there"
How beautiful, we could have been stranded in a worse place.