By May 1885 the first of many problems emerged. The up and down tracks an the coun- cil section in TerTalong St. were laid only 2 ft apart but in the Government section this dimension was a more satisfactory 6 ft. The need for the tramway was daily growing more urgent as a period of heavy rainfall had made regular traffic dangerous and caused stone haul- age to cease, during July 1885. At this stage the Engineer, Mr. StrathaBen, offered to least the tramway from the Council at a rental of 59o p.a. of the expected cost of X 5,759 but this was rejected as the municipality felt that in 30 years the debt would be repaid and the in- come from the tramway would then be used as a rate relief.
During August 1885 Mr. Noaks, a repiresen- tative from J. Fowler & Coy. inspected the tramway and suggested the employment of a six coupled loco as motive power. The Kiama .'Independent" revealed that three tenders were
i received from suppliers of locomotives by Septernber 25th, 1885. R. & W. Robertson's tender amounted to 1 1 000, Roberts WiWams & Coy. tot 7 50, but the quotation of J. Fowler was accepted as being the lowest. These must have been "ex factory" costs as the Fowler engine amounted to @'i .265 landed at Kiama.
An order was placed with Fowler's agent, IA'augh and Josephson in January 1 886.
By Septernber 1886 the Council's credit reached the 1 8,000 limit with the Joint Stock Bank and the situation was further aggravate d ,A@ith the Government's withdrawal of its main- tenance subsidy for Terralong St. The ratepayer s ".ere not at aU pleased with the lack of activity on the tramway, particularly as the first drain on the rates had commenced on August 7th, 1 883 and not one penny- had been carnt by the facility since then. The Kiama Tramway Act had allowed foi. a singje track, but plans for a double track main line had been adopted and to keep the rails within the available area the tracks had been laid Yen. close together. In addition to this, the track levels varied considerably to the adjacent road surface. Much of the stone trade had no,", been transferred to the Bombo area, 3 miles north of the town, where a horse worked tramway served the nearby jetty and the new Illawarra Government Railway line was adjacent to these workings,but the North Kiama terminus was isolated from the Kiama quarries by a very steep hill.
During November 1886, local businessmen met at the Council Chambers to devise means of helping the council. The community 4,as relatively prosperous as the entire capital foi. thp@.' Kiarna Gas Coy., founded by Messrs Tourney & Maltrop in August 1883 bad been subscribed locally. Forty:citizens agreed to guarantee the Council up to £ 50 each to allow the tramway to be completed and enable the Pik-e's Hill stone trade to be revitalised.
The trucks for the trar,-way were designed to a width of Sft to enable them to be tipped in the $'4" shoots at the Harbour side. During November )886 the council approached H udsons for estimates,covering the construction of 20 trucks. Local problems were not con- fined to the trama,ay, for troubles were being experienced with the new clock recently. installed in the Post Office lower.T'he pendulum carrie adrift and twice fell. crashing through the roof of the local post master's residence, before it was successfully fixed into position!
The Kiama "Independent" of December 7th, 1886 reported the trial of the Fowler AM-OT loco which had arrived during the previous month. This engine carried Builders No. 5265 and was fitted with side tanks of 300 gallon capacity. The 3 ft diameter drivers were powered by two 1 1 " x 1 8 " outside cylinders and the boiler worked at a pressure of 1 80 )h/sq.in. This loco could not be put to work until the arrival of wagons. Dwyers built these to Council speci- fications but %,hen received at the Harbour during May 1887 they were found to be built to 3'3" gauge, three inches underside while they were 6 inches too wide to fit the staiths at the Harbour. New axles ay-dyed during the following month and were readily fitted, as the wagons were primitive vehicles, consisting of a box like body with a hinged flap for tipping at one end, fastened to the axles with inside beai.- ings similar in appearance to simple 2 ft gauge collier.v skips. The 20 wagons cost a total of
174. A Public Meeting held in June 1887, was informed that the Council needed more money to enable the tramway to operate efficiently. An attempt in November A 887 to have the Council abandon the project was defeated
when a TramwayAmendment Bill was drawn up for presentation to Parliament. This Act was passed on April 14th, 1888 and enabled the Council to raise a further @ 9,000 by loans.
At this period five quarties were -operating at Kiama. three of these owned by Pike, one by Hindmarsh and the remaining one owned by Captain Charles, was located at Bombo and worked by George WII. This last named gentleman had originally offered to lay and work the tramway as he recognised its necess- ity to enable the Pike's Hill quarries to work to maximum capacity but the Council had rejected his offer. A temporary decline set in at this stage in the Kiarna stone industry, due to Sydney Councils changing to h;rdwood blocks for road paying.
By.,August 1 889 the Council had reached the decision to dispose of the trainway,a conclusion hastened by the unsafe condition of the rails which noA, stood well above'the surrounding road surface. The whole project was costing the Council _if 70 p,.a. in interest on top of the principal repayment, A?bile the loco m,as Rtand- ing unused due to the Council not bein,2, able to find any blue metal producer who would make use of the facility.
In Ncvember 1889 the Council accepted the tender of W. Carson for i_if 70 to Ternove the rails and sleepers from the road, this being the lowest of ten quotations received. This job was, completed in twelve working days, a contrast to the time taken to construct the tramway. On December 21st, 1 889 the Kiama "Independent" reported a debt of X 2,043 on the project from which no return could he expected,andjg 3,447 from which some finance could be retrieved. This lanct amount was 'based on assets such as the loco valued at V 1 26 5 @ wi.agons worth -$'1 74
and£1,771 onworkwhichotherwisebenefited the borough. (this included 1,9'1,070 spent on
fu -riber reducing Pike@s Hill near the terminus), The interest bill during the repayment time of the loans %-as estimated to cost -4'2,067, brina- ing the total cost of the unsuccessful project to
7,5 5 7._