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Book on popular steam trains in Fiji

December 22, 2014 6:06 pm

The once popular steam trains that ran on the tramlines delivering sugar cane to the mills in the Western Division have been captured in a book about steam trains.

The book which was launched in Australia highlights the history of the locomotives that were operating in the 1900s.

Author John Browning says the book “Salute to the Hudswells” tells the story of the famour Hudswell Clarke steam locomotives, which were operated by the Colonial Sugar Refining Company’s, at their sugar mills in Fiji and Queensland.

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Browning, worked for months writing the history of the locomotives and collecting photographs from around the world.

“One of the authors worked with this locomotives in Queensland about thirty years ago and he published a book back then when the locomotives stopped being used. Since then he and another friend and I have taken a great interest in this subject and so we had been gathering information about it.”

The locomotives were introduced to haul cane on the long journey from Sigatoka to Lautoka mill.

They also operated at Rarawai, Penang and Labasa mills as well as Queensland, Australia.

“As a visitor to Fiji, which I am every few years its very good to see how the cane transport in Fiji just as it is in Australia is really important part of industry and helps to bring the harvest from the field to the mill on which the farmers rely on for their livelihood.”

Copies of “Salute to the Hudswells” are available at the USP library in Suva.

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