Tramways, Coconuts and Phosphate
A History of the Tramways of Ocean Island and Nauru
By David Jehan
Published by the LRRSA
The islands of Nauru and Ocean Island are found just south of the equator in the Pacific Ocean, 265 km apart and about 3000 km north-east from Brisbane. For most of the twentieth-century the major activity on both islands was the mining of phosphate deposits, for the manufacture of superphosphate. This book explores the discovery of the phosphate, the establishment of the industry, the way it was managed and the living and working conditions of the many people who worked there.
On both islands the industry depended on narrow-gauge tramways as the main means of transport between the mines and jetties. This book describes the tramways in detail. On Ocean Island 2ft (610 mm) gauge tramways were used. Steam locomotives (mostly German), were used, as well as British internal combustion locomotives. Initially the tramways used on Nauru were the same as those used on Ocean Island, using 2ft gauge tramways and mainly German steam locomotives. These were later upgraded to a 3ft gauge system also using mainly German steam locomotives. In the 1950s these were replaced by Australian diesel-hydraulic locomotives.
Soft cover, 144 pages, A4 size, 195 photographs, 16 maps, plans and diagrams, references.