Wednesday, 10 February 2021

A railway milestone in Tasmania


Through studious neglect and congenital idiocy, Tasmania has zero commuter rail services and no tram or light rail offerings. 

Tasmanians instead rely on dreadfully inadequate bus services, or their own cars. 

Despite that, the West Coast Wilderness Railway is today celebrating 150 years of rail and tramways in Tasmania across several tour departures.

The first passenger rail in Tasmania was Launceston to Deloraine in 1871. 

“This is a big date in our calendar – almost as exciting as our own 125th birthday later this year” says general manager Anthony Brown. “Each of our passengers will receive a West Coast Wilderness Railway souvenir booklet as well as a commemorative postcard.”


The West Coast Wilderness Railway currently has a number of infrastructure projects underway and is looking forward to the return of Abt Locomotive No. 2 once a full restoration is completed. 

Abt Locomotive No. 2 is original to the railway line and was purchased from the Tasmanian Transport Museum in late 2019.

The Mt Lyell Mining and Railway Company operated the railway from its opening in 1896 until 1963. 

It was reopened in 2000 as a tourism experience and the locomotive is the last of the original, surviving locomotives to return to Queenstown since the railway reopened. 

“We’re very excited for her return and believe it is fitting that she should return the year that we celebrate 150 years of rail in Tasmania.” Brown said.

For details of current West Coast Wilderness Railway journeys see www.wcwr.com.au

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