Monday, September 22, 2014

His and Her Travel Review: World's Steepest Railway

Located a couple of hours west of Sydney is the town of Katoomba. It looks like an ordinary little town but it is home to the world's steepest incline railway. The Scenic Railway at Scenic World takes passengers on a short but exciting journey straight down into the valley below. I had been on the railway a few times as a child but I wanted Amanda to experience it when I took her to Australia in 2006.

     Most train journeys wind slowly down hills so the incline is fairly small. The togography of the mountains near Katoomba did not allow for this as they were mostly sheer cliffs. Since the mountains were so steep the  railway was built at an extremely steep angle (some parts are 52 degrees). The track from top to bottom is just 1350ft but you descend almost 800ft into the valley. It was originally built as a way for miners to send coal out of the valley but was turned into a tourist attraction when the mines closed. The ride is a little bit like going down the first hill of a rollercoaster but a lot steeper and slower. It is a unique experience and is a fun way to get down into the valley where you can choose from a few different walking trails. It is a fun way to try something new and is an easy day trip from Sydney by car or train.

A short video of the Scenic Railway

I am afraid of heights so when Sean started telling me about this railway I was instantly nervous. I made sure that he and his sister sat in the front seat so that his dad and I could sit in the back seat. I braced my legs on the seat in front of me and held on for dear life. I loved the history of the railway and I loved the ride itself. It was scary but not terrifying. You travel almost straight down and it was intense, but I would do it again if we were near Katoomba. It was a unique and fun experience, for sure!

Sign of some of the stats of the railway.

I figured if Sean and Shellie were in front they would catch me if I fell out of the seat.

It's a lot steeper than this photo shows. Parts of it feel like you are going straight down.

You have the option of riding back up in the train, but we took a glass bottom gondola instead.

Would you be brave enough to ride the Scenic Railway or have you ever been on a railway that has gone straight up a hill or mountain like this?

Happy Traveling,


  1. Wow! I would love to do this!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  2. I use to love going on this as kid, thanks for the sharing Sean. PS love the old Curiosity Show footage, I loved that show as a kid.

    1. Everyone use to call it the Death Train, lol


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