New Zealand facts & history in brief
New Zealand Map
was a township, a coalmine and of
course the legendary 'Incline', once upon a time.
I should have really started with the
coalmine and the township where the people
or miners and other service people lived
and the incline, many called it
the eighth wonder of the world.
All my life I have been fascinated by
trains, trams, practically anything that
moves, mechanical, clever and good looking.
After my arrival in New Zealand in January 1957,
I've seen and heard many films, documentaries,
stories and news items about
Denniston and the famous incline.
Unfortunately I didn't get
anywhere near to it until 1980.
The mine was gone, so was the people and
only the rusting rails were left of the incline.
On the plateau was a derelict
capstan assembly for the cable cars.
The township was pulled apart by souvenir hunters.
I managed to seat down in one
of the old buses, still in the garage, badly vandalised.
The 'Incline' of the great technical 'wonders',
now represented only by the
rapidly deteriorating tracks in the bush.
It started life in 1879 carrying or plummeting
coal from the Denniston plateau,
the famous Coalbrookdale mines, 1700 feet
down on grades as steep as 1 in 1,
to the West Coast ships and
trains, for more than 88 years.
It utilised the never sleeping,
never tiring, ever available energy of gravity.
The full wagon of coal hurtling
down, pulling an empty one up and
switching to a by pass loop in the
middle with an occasional, spectacular
runaways and smashes.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
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