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Rail Tasmania



Don River Rail Museum ex TGR Ma2 loco reversing at Foresters Beach.

About this Page

Tasmania presents its' railways in a different manner to those on the mainland. The rail network is small by mainland standards, with only a few hundred kilometres separating the ends of the network. Most of the operations are moderately scaled with a huge variation of perspective within that distance - the West Coast is true pioneer country and the North Coast track is within metres of the sea. The intervening scenery is breathtaking and the townships the railways pass through are historic.
Also have a read of my page: Tasmanian Tour on this web site.


Tasmanian Railway Systems

Government Railways
The Tasmanian Government Railways originally included the 2 foot (610mm) gauge North East Dundas Tramway. It became part of Australian National after Federal takeover, then Tasrail in the privatised era. Modern traffic is logging, cement, coal and acid, although now with no passenger transport.

Mount Lyell Railway
This famous scenic line links the mining town of Queenstown with the port of Strahan on Macquarie Harbour.It was closed for mining traffic in 1963 and reborn in 2000 as the Wilderness Railway. The locos are the small Dubs 0-4-2 tank locos equipped for Abt rack operation and a rod driven diesel.

Emu Bay Railway
Mines at Queenstown and Hellyer supplied ore concentrate for the EBR to transport to the docks at Burnie, until closure in 1998 due to mine depletion. The 180km of 3'6" gauge track system is now part of Tasrail. I have travelled twice on the trains and been amazed at the scenery and old stations.

Tourist Railways
With the cessation of passenger traffic in the 1980's, the ability to ride a passenger train resides with the museums. The most interesting is the Don River at Devonport and the Hobart Tasmanian Transport Museum, with other restored locos and trains such as Wee Georgie Wood at Tullah.