An initiative of the Maydena Community Association Inc.
Your Railtrack Riding Adventures:
- Ride 1. Maydena to Florentine section-
The return journey takes around one hour and along the way you will pass the remnants of the Hydro Tasmania’s bulk dry cement silos, workshops / stores that provided concrete and supplies for the construction of the Gordon River Hydro Electric Scheme.
The journey then continues on to the Florentine rail station where there are historic forestry displays, static exhibits, and historical information.
You may care to take a short peaceful walk around the Florentine trail, following the head waters of the Tyenna River, experiencing the temperate rainforest, the giant man ferns and the tall eucalypts while your Railtrack Riders are turned on the purpose built turntables for the return journey.
The railway continues into private owned land over Pillingers creek the land –the old log loading yard was sold by Australian Newsprint Mills when it ceased operations in the 1990’s at Maydena. All that is left of that line into the loading yard is small amount of line around 50 mts long going into the log yard.
Ride 2. Maydena to Fitzgerald’s Pig & Whistle section-
Traveling East from Maydena rail station heading east, the riders pass through the site of the former rail station at Fitzgerald.
Only two original railway houses remain along the side of the rail line.
In the early 1920’s Fitzgerald was a bustling town with timber cutting and haulage being work for locals and miners traveling to Adamsfield to seek their fortune mining ‘Osmiridium’.
Miners stayed overnight at Fitzgerald in boarding houses one of which was known as the ‘Pig & Whistle’ located just east of Fitzgerald.
Gourlay’s Mill was located across the Tyenna River from Fitzgerald it supplied Hobart and surrounds with its valuable timber.
In 1936 bushfire took its toll on timber supplies in the Tyenna Valley.
Fitzgerald was at one time the last stop on the Derwent Valley Line until Australian Newsprint Mills (A.N.M) purchased Gourlay’s Mill and its land for the supply of timber for the manufacture of Newsprint at its mill at Boyer.
The newsprint mill is now owned by Norske Skog which grows and uses pine for paper production harvested from the same areas of the Tyenna and Florentine Valley’s.
Ride 3 & 4.
- Mt Field National Park to Newbury and Stephens’ bridge sections-
Mt Field and the scenic beauty of Russel Falls led the government, in 1885, to create a 300 acre reserve around them. The Falls are one of Tasmania’s premier tourist attractions purely Tasmanian and to be seen nowhere else.
We start your ‘rail adventure’ at a building that was restored in 2012 by a Work Experience Activity group of unemployed men from ‘Workskills employment’.
The building belongs to ‘Derwent Valley Railway’ and is now serving as the departure point for the Railtrack Riders adventure.
Traveling West beside the Tyenna River, we are viewing the rugged mountain country of Mt Field.
We pass through light forest to Newbury road where we have a short stop before the return back to National Park and view some of the Maydena heritage ;
The earliest signs of life in the district can be found with plentiful seashell fossils dated from the Permian Period, 290-255 million years ago, when the area was below sea level. Our rugged mountains, rivers, forests and wildlife have developed over the aeons. We have come on a journey across the southern ocean after breaking off from Gondwana 45 million years ago. These fossils can be found along the rail corridor on our way to-
Stephens’ Bridge your ride 4 adventure.
The entrance to the old mill bridge at Sharpes is now lost- its age and many floods, but the old siding still is the reminder of the days the timber travelled by rail to Hobart from timber mills in the Tyenna valley.
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