This Chapter details the involvement of Australian Kerosene Oil and Mineral in the further operation of Katoomba mines after J.B. North leased the mine.

A picture of an acetlyene miners lamp courtesy of John Hill of Oberon and some information on the Rail Siding that North had installed, from State Archives, and ARHS. Click here:  Miners Lamps


This email from John Shoebridge containg a newspaper article from Newcastle Morning Herald 1886, with a story of a miner working in  the mines at Katoomba.

Newcastle Morning Herald Article


This is a comment from Stan Johnston. 20/12/09

102            I find the description of clipping given by Keith Duncan  incomprehensible.

Reply fromPH

Yes Keith’s description is not the greatest, however it is a quotation, so it has to be printed literally.  On Page 131 is a description of how a snaffle works, but the photo is not very illustrative. We had a better one but it didn’t make the cut.

 More from Stan:

104            Counterweight Path (present day) . Said to be originally used for  tensioning the endless rope. Is the reference to “present day” an indication  that it is a counterweight for the  Scenic Railway?

Reply from PH

P104  The Counterweight path is for the present day Scenic railway and has nothing to do with the historic installations.

            The tramway and cableway haulropes were tensioned by the two skips ( you can only see one ) on the edge of the hill in the LH background of Fig 7-3 page 86.

         We surmise that the “Valley Tramway” haulrope was also tensioned at the mouth of the original furnace tunnel, because of remmant earthworks there. It may have been that the original tensioning of the ropeway didn’t work when the winder was changed to driving the tramway so the tensioning point was moved. It certainly would have been more efective in the valley instead of on the clifftop, because a more constant tension could be kept on the C wheels with less tensioning weight, because of the weight of the ropes from the winder to the bottom of the cliff. Normal practice is to tension the unloaded rope, in this case the outgoing one returning the empty skips to the mines.

More from Stan:

110      Re Figure 8-17. What was the motive power for the cutter?

Reply from PH.

Acording to Leonie Knapman compressed air was used at Joadja. Compressed air was certainly used to drive the Mt. Rennie Tunnel, as the drill marks are quite obvious in the roof. So it certainly could have been used in the Katoomba Mines inthe AKO&M times.  An electric cutter was used in the 30’s and 40’s Katoomba Colliery workings.


p101; The reference to Figure 9-15 in the 4th last line should read Figure 9-14 (SJ)