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  • Shays, Crabs & Phosphate. A History of the Railways of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean (Jehan)

This book offers a history of the railways used in the phosphate industry of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean during the twentieth century. Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, is located 1300 km south of Singapore and 2600 km north-west of Perth. It is a small island, the length of the coast being only 80 km. It became an Australian external territory in 1958. Prior to that it had been under the administration of the then British colony of Singapore. For most of the twentieth-century the major activity was the mining of phosphate deposits, for the manufacture of superphosphate. To transport the phosphate to the port, a system of industrial railways was built, on gauges of 2 ft (610 mm) and 4 ft 8½ in (1435 mm). For such a small island, the variety of locomotives - both steam and internal-combustion - was remarkable. They came from Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the USA. As this book explains operating and maintaining them in such a remote location provided a constant challenge. Included were three 70 ton geared Shay locomotives, a type of locomotive rarely found outside America. But this book does not just describe the locomotives, and the operation of the railway. It explores the way the industry was managed, the living and working conditions, the use of passenger trains, and the unique problems caused by the huge population of crabs living on the island.  Numerous B&W photographs, some in colour, maps, diagrams and much more. 2008 LRRSA. Softcover. Good condition, covers curled and crease to rear. Scarce. 136pp. D9-55NM-7XFO

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Shays, Crabs & Phosphate. A History of the Railways of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean (Jehan)

  • Product Code: Good
  • Availability: In Stock
  • £40.00