Re: Mount Strickland and Mount Ritchie logging track - Marysville area
I don't think this track has ever been closed to walkers except after the
fires. It was certainly open prior to the fires - at least it was in October
2003 when I was field-checking the feeder tramlines at the head of the
incline (and another one which junctioned some distance below the top of the
The tramway incline which forms the route of "Lowering Gear Track" was in
use by Feiglin & Sons from late 1934 until about 1944, when supplies of
timber on top of the range had been exhausted. The mill it fed on the
Acheron Way was burnt down in 1955 and the machinery shifted to Narbethong,
where it continued to operate under a number of owners until burnt down in
the Black Saturday fires of 2009.
The incline was technically interesting, in that it had a single line of
steel rails laid to a gauge of 3-ft for 440 metres, had an average grade of
1 in 4.5, and was operated by a twin-engined internal combustion winch.
There was a small mill and several huts at the top of the incline, and food
for the workers and fuel for the crawler tractors had to be hauled up the
hill. A gearbox and engine compression were the primary method of braking on
the downhill run, with a manual brake for fine speed control where required.
Most of the other inclines in the Marysville area were of the three-railed
"balanced" type which required three rails with a passing loop and the
weight of the lowered logs to haul up the empty trucks with any supplies
Judah Feiglin and his sons were masters of "bodging" the equipment needed to
keep their enterprise running smoothly, including this lowering gear system.
They would have excelled at "Scrapheap Challenge"!
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