Denniston incline’s railway wagons carried coal from the Mt Rochfort Plateau (named after early engineer John Rochfort) to the Conns Creek railway yards at Waimangaroa. The incline was opened in 1879. The coal wagons weighed at least 12 tonnes fully loaded. They travelled 1,670 metres and had to fall 518 metres in that distance. The incline was powered by gravity. At the top it had huge drums mounted on a shared horizontal shaft. A 10 centimetre-thick wire rope wound round each drum. One drum paid out rope as a full wagon descended, and the other wound rope on, pulling an empty wagon up the incline. The incline was efficient, averaging 14 wagon loads an hour for nearly 90 years. The incline and branch line were closed in 1967.
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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: Pictorial Parade 195. National Film Unit, 1967
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