Tasmanian News

Beloved railway dubbed engineering marvel

And Tasmania's West Coast Wilderness Railway is now officially an engineering project of world-scale significance, joining only six others across Australia.

It was yesterday awarded an Engingeering Heritage International Marker as a tribute to those who carved the railway's tortuous path through rainforest in the late 1800s.

“The railway was the first example of the improved rack and pinion system, and has the longest running steam-driven Abt locomotives operating in the southern hemisphere," said the General Manager of Engineers Australia, Tasmania Division, Dr Vicki Gardiner.

"Many of the original engineering features are still visible, including the Iron Bridge over the King river, Huon pine culverts, and original rock retaining structures.”

While no private operator has emerged since the Federal Group pulled the pin on operations three years ago, under governmwent operation passenger numbers are up 17 per cent year on year, with 30,000 on track to visit by the end of July.