Rarawai–Kavanagasau Light Railway

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Rarawai–Kavanagasau Light Railway
Passenger train near Rarawai Mill, 1947 (Australian National University 171-1039).jpg
Passenger train near Rarawai Mill, 1947

Rarawai-Kavanagasau Light Railway highlighted on an OpenStreetMap map.jpg

Route of the main line highlighted on a modern map
Line length142 miles (229 km)
Track gauge2 feet (610 mm)
Route map
60 Nabuna
51 Tavua
45 Tagi Tagi
40 Lousa
31 Ba
30 Rarawai
0 Lautoka
4 Saweni
14 Natova
24 Navakai
Momi Military Camp
41 Savu Savu
51 Natadola Beach, Coral Coast Railway
64 Fijian Resort, Cuvu, Coral Coast Railway
72 Sigatoka
82 Kavanagasau[1]
Further stations:
Malolo (Navakai-Kavanagasau)
Namaka Military Camp
Martins Crossing (near Nadi)
Natuatuathoko (near Sigatoka)[1]

The Rarawai–Kavanagasau Light Railway was a 142 miles (229 km) long narrow gauge railway on Fiji.


The railway with a gauge of 2 feet (610 mm) was built and operated by the Colonial Sugar Refinery Co.

The operation started in December 1914 with free, twice-weekly, return passenger train services and weekly public goods trains, which transported pipes for the manganese mines as well as agricultural produce such as potatoes, onions, rice, maize, and other food. Transport of cattle started in the early 1950s.[2]

The section of the Kavanagasau–Rarawai tramline from Kavanagasau to Baitiri behind Navisabasaba village, at the boundary of Cuvu and Lomawai sectors, about 4.5 kilometres from the Intercontinental Hotel towards Nadi was closed on 7 August 2009 due to the significant decline in the production of cane in the Cuvu and Olosara sectors and cane from these areas being transportable by lorry to the Lautoka Mill.[3]

Rolling stock[edit]


The Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 locomotive with works number 972 of 1912 named Fiji (Colonial Sugar Refining Co. No. 11) and a Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0ST with works number 1056 of 1914 (Colonial Sugar Refining Co. No. 19) are preserved at Statfold Barn Railway.[4][5]

Mill No Manufacturer Type Fuel Works No Year built Condition
1-7 John Fowler 0-6-0TT Steam 1903-1906[6]
Rarawai Mill First 8, later 10 John Fowler 0-6-2TT Steam 11458 1908 Plinthed outside the mill in 2011 and 2016[7]
9 John Fowler 0-6-2TT Steam 1910[6]
10-17 Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 Steam 1912-1914[6]
18 Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 Steam 1915[6]
19 Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0ST Steam 1914[6]
20 & 21 Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 Steam 1936[6]
22 Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 Steam 1938[6]
23 & 24 Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 Steam 1950[6]
25 Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 Steam 1914[6]
1 & 2 Clyde Engineering 0-6-0 Diesel 1957[6]
Rarawai Mill 22 Hunslet 6wDH      Diesel 9274 1987 Operable in 2016 and 2017[7]
Rarawai Mill 24 Baguley-Drewry 0-6-0DH Diesel 3773 1983 Operable for shun­ting in 2017[7]
Rarawai Mill, seen in 2007 at Penang Mill Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0DM Diesel D753 1950 Derelict at Penang Mill in 2007. Remains scrapped in 2011.[7]
Rarawai Sugar Mill Australian Clyde, rebuilt by Ontrak Engineering of Sydney 0-6-0DH Diesel Operable in 2012[7]
Lautoka Mill Clyde DHI-71 Diesel Derelict 2008[7]
Lautoka Mill Clyde DHI-71 Diesel Derelict 2008[7]


2nd class passenger carriage and brake van No 4 fitted with temporary frames for lifting by crane

Two second class passenger carriages and a brake van were built in 1914 by Clyde Engineering in Granville, Australia for Rarawai–Kavanagasau Light Railway. One of the carriages is now at the Ferrymead 2ft Railway in a partially disassembled state.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Fergusson, Jim (20 January 2016). "Fiji & Pacific Islands Railways, Passenger Stations & Stops" (PDF). railwaystationlists.co.uk. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  2. ^ Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences. "Photograph of a brake van, No. 4, built for Rarawai-Kavanagasau Light Railway in Fiji". Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  3. ^ Fijian Government: Portion of Kavanagasau/Rarawai tramline closed. 7 August 2009.
  4. ^ Andrew Naylor: Colonial Sugar Refining Co No 19, Statfold Barn Railway, Sat 8 August 2015. Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0ST 1056 / 1914, 2ft gauge. Repatriated from Fiji.
  5. ^ Chris Allen: Statfold Barn Railway - green, red and yellow. The Geograph, No 5382236.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hodge, Peter (October 1960). "Narrow Gauge In Fiji". Railway and Locomotive Historical Society Bulletin. 103: 21–40. JSTOR 43517963.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Photos on Facebook Narrow Gauge Enthusiasts Group

Coordinates: 18°08′27″S 177°25′49″E / 18.140839°S 177.430410°E / -18.140839; 177.430410