Emu Bay Railway

The Emu Bay Railway and its connecting railroads were a railway track in Tasmania. Today this system of two remaining routes operated, one of them exclusively for tourism purposes. The Emu Bay Railway could be driven since the end of 1900, and formed with the two subsequent routes to Strahan and Queenstown railway infrastructure of the Tasmanian West Coast.


The trunk route linking the towns of Zeehan and Burnie along the west coast of Tasmania. In the south, joined to the existing route Strahan ( Regatta Point ) - Zeehan on a 1892 opened isolated operation the State Railway of money that they extended so. Between Strahan and Queenstown was a further distance, which is built as a museum railway West Coast Wilderness Railway again. On April 15, 1901, the State Railway of Devonport Burnie Coming reached, so that the Emu Bay Railway was a connection to the rest of the Tasmanian railway network in the north. The Emu Bay Railway was the main evacuation route for the minerals that were mined in the mines at Zeehan, as the topography of ports on the Tasmanian west coast is unfavorable. At the same time introduced the route the main connecting many smaller communities on the west coast with the rest of the island is from the strong expansion of the Tasmanian road network in the last third of the 20th century, such as Guildford and Rosebery.


Main line

The line was - in contrast to most other railways of Tasmania, which, with a few insignificant exceptions were built and operated by the state - privately built and operated. This happened in Cape gauge. Initiators and financiers were the operators of the mines in the area of Zeehan. First sections of the railway were put into operation in 1897 before they went into operation in full on 21 December 1900.

At a mining accident in the mine North Mount Lyell in 1912 reached the traits of the Emu Bay Railway, the approach carried the rescue equipment, travel times, which were later reached any more.

From 1961 to March 8, 1964 on the wrong track, a car-train under the name West Coaster between Zeehan and Burnie. The expansion of the road network put an end to.

The track had to be laid in sections, in the late 1970s when the dam of the Pieman River went into operation and flooded the old route in some places. At the end of the 20th century consisted of only freight transport and the route was south of the station Melba Flats adjusted. The ores - mainly copper - were driven from the mines in Queenstown with truck loading point to this.

The train was one of the longest established and most successful private railway companies of Australia. In 2004 it was taken over by the state railway TasRail.

Branch lines

  • Mount Bischoff tin mine - - Guildford
  • Tramway (610 mm) Farrell Junction Tullah, also known as Wee Georgie Wood Railway, today: tourism enterprise.
  • Primrose - Smelters
  • Renison Bell - Boulder ( Tramway )
  • Rayna Junction - Maestris (Mount Dundas - Zeehan Railway)
  • Various inter alia Tramways to Montezuma and Williams Ford


  • In the north the Emu Bay Railway joined to the state railway routes to Devonport and Wynyard.
  • In the south, the Emu Bay Railway connected the state railway Zeehan - to Strahan.
  • This, in turn joined to the private railroad of the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company to Queenstown, which was opened on 1 November 1899. It has ceased operations on 10 August 1963. The Mount Lyell Railway was partially developed as a cog railway ( Abt system ). It was built under the name of West Coast Wilderness Railway again and is operated as a museum railway since 27 December 2002. The locomotives used are restored originals, the coaches are new. The track is owned and operated by the Federal Hotels, who also run other tourist attractions in Strahan.