Sunday, 8 March 2015

Little Trains

2010:  "Great Australian Railway Journeys"
Here we are riding the rails on the West Coast Wilderness Railway through  the rainforest of Australia. This line is a remarkable survivor.  Originally built by the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company and opened in 1897 to carry copper from its mines it ceased to run on the 10 August 1963 when the rolling stock was dispersed to museums and the track removed, happily the bridges were left intact.  With the help of many funding sources and a lot of enthusiasm the line was restored to run again in December 2002 and some of the original locomotives returned, however the government removed funding support and once again its future was uncertain. Happily it reopened in 2014 so one can once again enjoy the spectacular views
as shown on this Maximum Card trundling through dense forestation above the King George River.  The reason I have chosen this card is because the photograph shows perfectly the rack and pinion system used on this narrow gauge track to be able to travel through mountainous terrain (steepest gradient 1 in 15).  To be more precise it is an Abt rack and pinion, invented by someone living in an even more mountainous country,  the Swiss engineer Roman Abt and first used on the Harzbahn, Germany in 1885.  It is also the system used on the Snowdon Mountain Railway which takes you to the top of Wales' highest peak, which brings me to another small train in a country which is full of narrow gauge tracks
2014: Classic Locomotives of Wales
and this Hunslet narrow gauge locomotive 'Blanche' who along with 'Linda' and 'Charles' worked between the Penrhyn Slate Quarry and Port Penrhyn
near Bethesda in Wales from the 1880s until 1962. Although Blanche is much altered mechanically since that time she and Linda are still working and carry passengers on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highlands Railway.   Their brother Charles is in the Penrhyn Castle Railway Museum.

An entry to the Sunday Stamps II theme of "Riding the Rails", travel to Violet Sky's "See it on a Postcard" to see more here.       

6 comments:

FinnBadger said...

Great selection. I had no idea Australia had rain forests - just shows my ignorance of the country's geography. Fascinating story behind the line's restoration.

And in the US trains are rarely on stamps, while in the UK there are many issues. Intriguing how different countries view rail differently.

Bob Scotney said...

Despite there being so many GB train stamps i have none of the recent issues and had never seen the Welsh trains from last year.
Good on ya, Aussies.

♥ Willa ♥ said...

wow! you have quite a few trains here. I'm not as lucky because I only have one to share.

Willa @ Postage Journal
My Sunday Stamp:Train

VioletSky said...

I did manage to get on a steam train in Wales when I visited there, but have no idea anymore which one. Perhaps I have a photo with the name on it. I do remember how giddily excited I was Even though I'd just spent hours on a train from Glasgow and would later spend more hours on a train getting out of Wales to Reading, that little steam was the best one!

Sarah said...

Looks like there would be beautiful vistas on that train ride!

Heleen said...

Great stamps!
And the postmark is a real beauty, too.

(btw, FinnBadger, you surprise me! :-) Australia indeed has rainforest (the north is close to Indonesia), with the famous fascinating Cassowary - one of my many favourite animals :-)
(this said, I must confess that I don't know much about geology or even geography of your country...))