Halfway up the Incline

The halfway gate, good fresh snow and blue skies. Magic. The mile-long incline, maximum gradient 1 in 4½, came into operation in 1861 to transport ore from the Rosedale Ironstone Mines. At the peak of ironstone production 1000-1500 tons was hauled down daily, operations continuing throughout the night. The incline was self acting, that is, loaded wagons descending under gravity pulled up empty wagons. Both rakes of wagons were controlled by a brake drum housed at the summit. Winters must have very severe with heavy snowfall and strong winds. Stoppages to operations were recorded during the winters of 1878/9, 1882/3, 1894/5 and 1916/7, the latter lasting five weeks. Buildings were buried and cuttings blocked. Five engines were stationed on the Rosedale Railway, the last being lowered down the incline in 1929.
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