Yes, it really is the steepest railway in the world.
And here are the photos to prove it!
The Scenic Railway at Scenic World in Katoomba, up in the very beautiful Blue Mountains, genuinely is a record holder.
The 52 degree incline at one point in the ride is the steepest railway incline in the world.
And yes, it feels very steep!
And thrill seekers can make it even steeper by tilting their seats to an even steeper 64 degree incline. Madness.
The more sedate amongst us can adjust the tilt to make it less steep too.
My three children preferred the original.
On the day we went to Scenic World we went up and down several times, and the kids just loved and loved and loved it.
Me too, especially the later journeys when I wasn’t trying to take photos whilst hanging on for dear life!
We all wished it was longer! The journey is just a couple of thrilling minutes long. But on a day pass you can go up and down as many times as your kids like.
The Scenic Railway – History
The Scenic Railway had its first incarnation as a railway to carry coal from mines at the bottom of the Katoomba escarpement to the top. Coal mining began in 1878.
The coal seam was visible and it was fairly easy for miners to start digging into the hillside to extract coal from the seam.
At its busiest there were about 40 mines in the area. A railway was an efficient way to get to the coal up to Katoomba.
But how those miners made a railway up such a steep cliff back in the 1800’s beats me. Amazing engineering… and without all the modern equipment drilling and blasting equipment used nowadays.
When you see the entrance to the mines and the displays of drill bits and so on, you sure get a clear idea of how blody tough life was, and how tough the people were back in the olden days.
Not to mention the pit ponies. They must have been super tough too.
During the Second World War many American troops on R & R would come to the Blue Mountains. It became popular to ask for a lift up in the railway.
In 1944 a man called Harry Hammon organised the first purely recreational trips on the railway. Those early trips grew into a thriving tourism business which we see at Scenic World today, still owned and managed by the Hammon family.
It was really interesting for me to learn about the history of coal mining in the Blue Mountains and how it prompted the amazing engineering of the Scenic Railway too.
I’m thrilled that my children got a great history lesson as well as the thrill of the rides up and down the steep incline.
We did many trips, and we’ll be doing more again in the future, the kids will make sure of it!
Have you taken the family for a ride on the Scenic Railway yet?
Did you love it?
For general information about Scenic World and the good value prices for families, click here.
This blog is proudly sponsored by Scenic World.
Linking today with Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travellers Sandbox – great travel pix there.
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