The Katoomba Scenic Railway


An early souvenir photo from the Scenic Railway in Katoomba, 1946 (The Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia)

I grew up in the magical Blue Mountains. I have many childhood memories of trips to Echo Point and a keen interest in the local Blue Mountains history. As a result, Blue Mountains souvenir ware and vintage imagery always catches my attention. I was very excited to find these fab photos at a local postcard and ephemera market here in Melbourne. They are on fairly flimsy unprinted cardstock, but are designed to stand up by themselves on display.

The Scenic Railway was originally constructed for the coal and shale mine in the Jamison Valley, and from 1928 began taking tourist passengers. When the mine closed in 1945 it became a permanent popular tourist attraction and remains so to this day.

Don’t the passengers look a little nervous! It is the steepest cable driven funicular railway in the world with it’s steepest incline being a hair raising 52 degrees! Think about that as you go head first over the edge of the escarpment in a rattly train carriage with no safety harnesses!

The Scenic Railway in Katoomba, 1949 (Length 1350 feet and incline 52 degrees)

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  1. Kelly

    Looking at that first picture, not too many happy faces! Those ladies in the back better hold on to their hats!! Is that the same conductor in both pictures? I wonder how long he did that job? At least 3 years.. doesn’t look too pleased about it!

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