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The first Kiama tramway by Ken McCarthy

The second Kiama tramway by Ken McCarthy

Tramway Epilogue by Ken McCarthy

Feasibility Study

This is part the information in in the proposal.


Many successful commercial-tourist activities have been founded on the revival and re-creation of the heritage of an area. The industrial railway which operated in Kiama would be a keystone in the development of the original town area as an historic precinct. The full potential of such a development could not be fully realised until the opening of the motor by-pass and the deproclamation of the highway through town.

Proper development of the railway would result in a strong identifying feature for the town. The possibility of development of mall areas and/or shared zones on deproclamation of the highway would result in an interesting streetscope.

Click Below to see Proposed Route

then expand the map to see clearly

Proposed Route.jpg (207818 bytes)


This study evaluates the financial feasibility, tourist potential, traffic management and benefit to residents of a 2.3 +km railway operating as a working museum. The report has been prepared by a Citizens Committee set up by Kiama Municipal Council comprising representatives of Illawarra Light Rail, Kiama Locomotive Trust, Chamber of Commerce, Kiama Area Promotions, Council Engineering Staff and Alderman Bruce Dun as Chairman.

The objectives of the study were to:

Evaluate the financial feasibility of a light railway Assess the tourist potential of such an attraction

Identify and manage traffic conflict points on the route

Evaluate the benefits this attraction will give to local residents

Investigate the setting up of a trust to manage the Light Railway and the distribution of surplus monies

Financial appraisal of the project provides an estimate of operating cash flows and allows for repayment of principal and interest, depreciating the system over a ten year period and the build up of reserves for future embellishment of the system.

In accordance with normal practice this Committee would emphasize that the findings in this report are based on the sources indicated and on the best possible estimate. However, as this proposed Light Railway is a first for this area no independent verification is possible and responsibility for any error which may occur cannot be borne by the Committee. As this report involves various forecast which can be affected by a number of unforseen variables they are the best possible estimates at this point in time.

2.1 PROJECT OVERVIEW The area proposed for this Light Railway consists of approximately 2.3 km of 600 mm gauge track traversing the extremities of Kiama Showground, Chittick Oval into Coronation Park the centre of Manning Street east into Terralong Street then veering North East towards the Pilots Cottage and ending in a balloon loop on the site of the existing Blowhole Point Caravan Park. A plan is attached.

The objectives of the project is to develop a working museum recreating section of the old basalt line that operated in Kiama in the early part of this Century which can establish itself as a superior tourist attraction that will be self funding, support future embellishment and provide added amenities to local residents at no cost to them. It is anticipated the line will be used initially by the original steam locomotive 'Kiama@ that operated on the old basalt line with three 30 seat cars attached operating seven days a week between 10.00 am and 6.00 pm.

Exhibits For The Proposed Museum

Kiama- Devonport built 0-4-0 Saddletank ILRM

Original Kiama Locomotive

John Fowler Locomotive

Same close up

Seen at Albion Park Train Museum