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Scenic Railway Counterweight


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post-2114-1277461485_thumb.jpg This is the only known close up photograph (to me anyway) that i have been able to track down of the counterweight at it's top position near the cliff face. It was taken by a tourist (thankyou to you whoever you are) travelling on the Scenic Cableway. Due to the overcast conditions the quality is fairly dark, but hey !! I can only imagine how impressive a shot would look on a sunny day from the same position.
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I just can't believe in the past few weeks no one has posted any photos of the counterweight to the internet... Surely they'd have some in the new advertising at least??? Madness

Pinksmile might need some counselling if it turns out they stopped using it!

Whats the actual mass of the counterweight made of? Is it an old boiler filled with concrete.

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  • 5 weeks later...
post-2114-1281770369_thumb.jpg A misty day photograph of the counterweight, taken from the bottom platform of the Scenic Railway a few years back. I am still trying to find the time to return to Scenic World myself to capture some photos of the counterweight in it's top position near the cliff face. If anyone else can beat me to it, please upload them.
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  • 4 weeks later...
post-2114-1283688607_thumb.jpg I just found this photo, which shows the old anchor wheel in the background and part of the new anchor in the foreground. I am guessing that the "small box on a pole" that leans to the right, which you can see in the top left corner of the photo is (or was) some kind of loud speaker used for communication between the maintenance crew working down there and staff operating the Scenic Railway up at Scenic World. Taken on the 30/9/08. I hope you like it.
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  • 4 weeks later...
post-2114-1285881967_thumb.jpg This photo was taken (i assume) from the front section of the top platform of the Scenic Railway. It shows one of the iron wheels that deflects the towing cable (which you can see) that connects onto the front of the counterweight. This wheel is located (from memory) above and to the left of the cave entrance that the Scenic Railway passes through at the top. The counterweight towing cable does not have a straight up and down travel path (if you know what i mean). It travels down the left hand side of the Scenic Railway top platform, then deflects at the iron wheel (the one in the photo) turning right at about a 50 degree angle (approx)?? heading over the top of the cave entrance, down through the bush over another support wheel or wheels, then deflects again turning left this time, and heads straight towards the cliff traveling over the cliff top wheel and down into the valley connecting onto the counterweight. I am not 100% sure if this is it's exact travel path as you cannot see any of this from the top platform, (except what you see in the photo) but it is a fairly accurate description. (I would love to see it).
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post-2114-1287810560.jpg Finally something to satisfy my curiosity (and anyone elses) . It's taken over 30 years to see, but better late than never (for me anyway). This is a photo taken of the top anchor point for the Scenic Railway Counterweight. It's not very good quality but better than nothing. It shows the old anchor point in the foreground (hence all the rust) and the current one in use behind it.
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  • 2 months later...
post-2114-1293157145_thumb.jpg Another forgotten photo i just came across, taken on the 30/9/08. This photo shows the original counterweight that was in operation from 1953 - 1974. It was much easier to obtain than the other pictures i have uploaded for the forum - believe me !! I assume it has sat in that position since it was left there in 1974, but who knows.
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  • 4 weeks later...
post-2114-1295662553_thumb.jpg This photo was taken on the 30/9/08, showing the counterweight as it appears from the walking track that leads off the Scenic Railway overpass bridge towards the Scenic Cableway. It was taken from behind (as you cannot read the signage attatched to it) the counterweight as it travelled up towards the cliff face. Enjoy.
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  • 10 months later...

This is a photograph taken of the Scenic Railway Counterweight as it appears in it's top position up near the cliff face. I suspect the person (thankyou whoever you are) who took the picture was probably a rock climber as the height and angle of the photo suggests that, but who knows ??? This is the first photo (to my knowledge) ever taken of the Scenic Railway Counterweight from this position and it certainly looks very impressive. To those who are unaware, don't be fooled by this shot it is very deceiving. That counterweight may appear to be just hanging there, but it is actually "hanging there" at a height of around 200 metres above the valley floor. Enjoy.

post-2114-0-29732900-1322563341_thumb.jp

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Judging by the angle, i'd say the photo is taken from the southern cafe deck, which justs out beyond the counterweight's anchor point, and not a rock climber. It's kind of difficult to climb (legally) around scenic world's attractions - they get a little upset about things like that.

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Gazza, i am guessing (as i do not know for sure) that the counterweight barrel was more than likely custom made for it's frame and not a boiler. I read somewhere (i don't recall where) that the weight barrel they currently use is filled with "steel cannon type balls" but, i just read that somewhere so i cannot confirm it.

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  • 8 months later...

I have heard that the Scenic Railway is going to be totally upgraded and will be up and running in December 2012. The current Scenic Railway is still in operation. I was writing in to ask anyone out there if they happen to know if Scenicworld are planning to retain the current Counterweight operating system ( i really hope so), or are they going to adopt some other method of transporting the train up and down ? Hope to hear some thoughts. Thanks.

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I believe that this info may help. It's taken from the official site. "Blue Mountains’ iconic Scenic Railway to undergo $30M upgrade Tuesday 12 June 2012 Scenic World has committed to the largest tourist attraction investment in the history of the Blue Mountains with a $30 million redevelopment of the world’s steepest incline railway. The Scenic Railway at Australia’s most visited; privately-owned tourist attraction is being upgraded with works including a new train to transport visitors down to the ancient rainforest floor in the Jamison Valley. Scheduled to open in December 2012, the new railway experience set within a World Heritage-listed region beneath the Three Sisters, will include new top and bottom platforms with historical interpretation in addition to a new rail track. Swiss-designed carriages will comprise the fifth vehicle to operate on the former coal mine track since 1945. The existing train continues to operate, building on a history of nearly 25 million passengers delivered safely and spectacularly to the valley floor. Overseeing the project are new Joint Managing Directors, Anthea and her brother David Hammon. Miss Hammon (31), also Scenic World’s Chief Engineer, said under the railway redevelopment, the character and history of the 52 degree incline will be retained. “We want to maintain Scenic World’s position as a unique international attraction, while ensuring visitor safety. This investment allows us to upgrade the Scenic Railway well ahead of schedule.” Miss Hammon said. “The sensitive redevelopment demonstrates the same depth of historical, cultural and environmental respect that our family has provided for three generations, but will now offer the visitor a fresh perspective with some new surprises that people will want to explore again and again.” A multidisciplinary team will deliver this significant tourism redevelopment lead by Miss Hammon, bringing together Swiss specialist railway designers Garaventa, Australian architects, project managers and builders. Scenic World is experienced by almost one million visitors annually. Beginning in 1945 with Harry Hammon’s entrepreneurial vision to transform an abandoned coal mine into an iconic tourist attraction, three generations of Hammons continue to pioneer Blue Mountains tourism."

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Scenic railway is the prime attraction at scenic world. Although the SkyWay and the Sceniscender are both fabulous attractions - the skyway underwent a revamp a few years ago - including a new carriage, station and 'disappearing floor'. The sceniscender is 'getting on in years' which is to say - not many, as it's only been in service for about 10 years or so - (the old Skyway was in service for many years, as was the current trains on the railway). i guess the point is that the Skyway and Sceniscender aren't unique - they're the vekoma boomerangs of the 'scenic world' world. The scenic railway on the other hand is unique - it's the 52 degree incline that makes it a one of a kind, and the story and history of the tunnel that it goes through just add to that. There are three ways into the Jamison valley from that point - the giant staircase (ok to go down if you're reasonably fit - but don't try to go up unless you're in top shape), the sceniscender is more expensive, carries less people, and doesn't have that unique 'reveal' of the valley that the railway does as it exits the lower end of the tunnel. The railway is the cheaper option, with far more seats (which is much more suitable to school groups too), doesn't give those with a fear of heights any issues, and is far quicker between points a & b. I would suggest the railway is getting a little more for it's $30m pricetag than just a new track and train... we'll see how much more in December i guess...

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Construction costs alone would be huge there as there is no access. A fair bit of chopper work was required for the scenicender and I'm imagining this project will be no different.

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It would be nice if a portion of that money could be spent to make an Orphan Rocker opening a reality!! Maybe this is still in their future plans at some point- imagine the attraction line up with Orphan Rocker operating!!! Couple this with the picturesque and beautiful location that is the Blue Mountains and the Jamison Valley below, and you would have a thrill attraction like no other in the world!! It does make the mind go wistful indeed!! ;)

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  • 3 months later...

Was quite a fun ride actually except for the bruised elbows from holding on to the hand rails, you go two people per carage with one leaning back between the other persons legs, there was no saftey harness at all just a lap sash seatbelt like that from a car backseat in the seventies. The ride happens quite quickly and tends to throw you from side to side rather violently, the first three corners are the best as it dives off the end of the platform, it does an almost 300 degree turn right at the edge of a 300 metre cliff, but then spends the rest of the ride going slowly up hill to the carpark and around the back of the winch room to its tunnel where it lives. But its a bloody terrorfying first 15 seconds, the ultimate homemade rollercoaster

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Wasnt illigal to ride counterweight, it was my job to grease the thing, i just had balls and went up with it, the owner harry knew i did it and just told me its best if i diddnt do it like that again. No one else had the balls to do it, so it wasnt illigal i was an employee doing my job Alex b, the anchor point for the counter weight isnt where you think it is, its only accessed by walking down the steep return track of the orphan rocker then a short bush walk to the cliff face its in a cage at top of cliff, directly beneth the orphan rockers hairpin. Bend ;)

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I envy you counterweightrider (seriously) having the opportunity to work at Scenic World and have the chance to maintain the Scenic Railway Counterweight. As you can read in earlier posts on this topic, i absolutely love the Scenic Railway Counterweight and it's operating system etc etc, and have for over 30 years or so. I would love to be given the opportunity to have a go at greasing it, that would make my year.

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