The Burning Mists of Time

The original idea behind this book was to document the rich history of the Scenic Railway at Katoomba.  Individual experts were to write chapters in their area of expertise,  and that would be that. Unfortunately we couldn’t make it happen, but when Philip Pells contacted me and expressed an interest in pushing the project forward, I jumped at the chance.

Philip Pells’ background is in Civil Engineering and mining, while mine is electrical, management, and accounting, but the two of us have succeded in putting together, a book of interest to many. We have contributions from Brian Fox, bushwalker and map guru, and Amanda Mackie and Karen Carlson, who are researchers extraordinare.

This is the webpage promised in the Introduction to the book, which we hope you, the reader, will use to update information, post comments, supply photographs, and generally get prepared for the next edition of the book. Remember the golden rule of research:-


Philip Hammon  August 2009.

Chapters and Appendices

The book has 14 Chapters and 7 Appendices. If you would like to post a comment  please select the appropriate Chapter/Appendix from the box on the right and post it , or if the comment is of a more general nature, place it in the “General” Section.

If you are referring to photographs or maps, please use the original Fig. numbers from the book.

PhotographsPeckman 23-3-1946

If you can supply additional photographs, please supply as  .jpg  to or post them to us at PO Box 1042 Katoomba 2780, and we will scan and return. You will, of course, receive credit for them.

We welcome family shots of visits to Scenic World, either modern or old, especially if you can date them and supply names of people in the photos. They will be placed in an online album with any comments you may like to supply. If they are relavent to the book, we will place them in the appropriate Chapter post as well. There should be many of Joe Peckman’s souvenir pictures out there which show passengers seated in the Scenic Railway Car prior to descent into the valley. ( see photo on right )  this one is dated 23rd March 1946. The Conductor standing next to the car, is Fred Gull.

The photograph below dates from 1928, and is the original 12 ( count the passengers !) seater car built by Katoomba Colliery to transport passengers. It was named “Jessie”, and was steam hauled, electricity wasn’t introduced until 1935.


NEWSFLASH: As of December 2020 additional research material has been published in the Blue Mountains Historical Society website under the menu item Members Projects.