In the 1890’s the Katoomba “Coal and Shale Company” created one of the worlds first aerial ropeways for the transport of shale. Its buckets each carry 300kg of load and travel 3.6km passing by 200m tall cliffs on the way. After six months of spasmodic operation and 20,000 tons of shale the structure collapsed. Some parts were salvaged but most lies in the valley where it fell almost 120 years ago. The area is now a World Heritage area recognised for its exceptional diversity and integrity of the forest. How does technology fit into our understanding of World Heritage?
Students will recreate the landscape and aerial ropeway structures including models of the towers, buckets and architectural features at both ends of the ropeway. Information from the book “The Burning Mists of Time: A technological and social history of Katoomba” will be supplemented by material supplied by Phillip J. Hammon and material gathered directly by the students on site visits. The environment and interactivity will be created in UE4 with models made in 3ds Max. Existing 3ds Max models and their associated textures will be optimised for deployment on a mobile platform.
The world famous Katoomba Scenic Railway was originally part of a network of tramlines built to bring coal and kerosene shale.Aerial Ropeway known as the ‘’Flying Fox’’, stretched from the Ruined Castle shale mine to the head of the Katoomba incline some 3.4 km across the Jamison Valley. Driven by an engine near the Katoomba Incline and supported along its route by support towers across the valley. Used to transport 20,000 tons of oil shale. Turned out to be a failure. Ropes damaged from the hammering of the cast iron wheels of the bucket carriers. Abandoned after only 9 months. The track ropes of the aerial tramway still lay where they fell. It is now claimed as being a part of the forest. Cables, buckets, pulleys and the remains of some pylons can still be found in the valley. Aerial Ropeway distance: 3.4 km Maximum gradient: 52 degrees Length
of incline: 415 metres (1360 ft) Vertical descent: originally 229
metres (750 ft), now 178m.