Katoomba Scenic World
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Katoomba Scenic World is a privately owned tourist attraction located in Katoomba in the world heritage-listed Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia, about 100 kilometres west of Sydney. Scenic World is home to 4 attractions, of which the most famous is the Katoomba Scenic Railway. The site also includes the Katoomba Scenic Skyway, the Cableway and Katoomba Scenic Walkway a 2.4 km elevated boardwalk through ancient rainforest. Onsite facilities also include free all day parking, the largest souvenir shop in NSW and several dining outlets.
The Scenic Railway is the steepest cable-driven funicular railway in the world,     the steepest incline of 52 degrees contained within a total incline distance of 415 metres (1,361.5 ft). It was originally constructed for a coal and oil shale mining operation in the Jamison Valley in the 1880s, in order to haul the coal and shale from the valley floor up to the escarpment above. From 1928 to 1945 it carried coal during the week and passengers at weekends. The coal mine was closed in 1945 after which it remained as a Tourist Attraction. The Scenic Railway was closed on 13 January, 2013 (although the Skyway, Cableway, and Walkway remained open) as construction to upgrade both tracks and carriages began. The work was completed and the railway reopened in April 2013.
Built in 1958 the Scenic Skyway is another cable-driven conveyance at Scenic World. It travels across the gorge above the Katoomba Falls, 200 metres (656 ft) above the valley floor. The original Scenic Skyway was dismantled early in 2004 and replaced by a new cable car in December of the same year. The new Skyway was built by Doppelmayr and CWA Constructions, and features a 72 person cabin with sections of liquid crystal glass that turns a raised section of the floor from translucent to transparent as the ride progresses. In November 2005 a second station on the opposite cliff-face opened, allowing Skyway passengers to disembark and follow bushwalking trails to the nearby Echo Point.
In 1984 Scenic World began building a roller coaster known as the Orphan Rocker, named after the nearby Orphan Rock. This is the first roller coaster to be completely designed and manufactured in Australia. The highlight of this ride is meant to be a swooping banked turn that takes riders within metres of the edge of a 200 m (656 ft) cliff. It has in the past been referred to as a "sitdown suspended" coaster, because although it is a conventional sitdown coaster, the trains can tilt from side to side, like a suspended coaster, giving it its name. It was originally planned as a scenic monorail ride, but it soon evolved into a roller-coaster ride. The roller coaster has never publicly opened due to demands for redevelopment elsewhere onsite. Visitation to Scenic World in the 80s were peaking at more than 1.2 million visitors annually, necessitating additional access into the valley and the idea for Scenic World's 3rd ride - The Cableway (originally Scenicscender) was born. The roller coaster track has been left in place for possible redevelopment in the future.
In 2000 Scenic World installed the Sceniscender, now called Scenic Cableway, 84 passenger cable car from Doppelmayr that passes over a 25-metre (82 ft) high tower on the edge of the cliff, and then 510 metres (1,673 ft) to the Valley Station in the Jamison Valley 200 m (656 ft) below.
Restaurants and shops
Scenic World has two food & beverage outlets operating – EATS270 and the Terrace Café.
The former Scenic Revolving Restaurant was renovated and reopened in late 2012 as an international eatery. EATS270 includes four food outlets with Asian, Indian, Italian and Australian inspired meals. EATS270 also features a new balcony area with extensive outdoor seating overlooking the Three Sisters and Jamison Valley.
Scenic World food & beverage outlets are not open in the evenings for general dining but can be booked for private functions and corporate events.
||This article uses bare URLs for citations, which may be threatened by link rot. (June 2014)|
- "Scenic World".
- Scenic Railway Redevelopment FAQs
- Sherlock, Emily (29 Jan 2006). "Roller-coaster is going nowhere fast". smh.com.au. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
- Shale Tramways of Katoomba Luxton, John R. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, January 1962
- The Burning Mists of Time A Technological and Social History of Mining in Katoomba Philip J. Pells and Philip J. Hammon, 2009 
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