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Falaise railway terminus
The railway terminus at the falaise, probably some time in the 1950s.

Makatea is an island of the Archipel Tuamotu (Tuamotu Archipelago) of French Polynesia.

A 600m gauge railway system opened around 1920 for the transport of phosphates in the form of guano from mines in the centre of the island to a port facility near Temao on the northwest coast. The small harbour was not able to accommodate deep water ships; the railway terminated on a rocky outcrop (falaise) from where the guano was transferred to ships by an elaborate moveable pier system. The railway was steam hauled from the outset, with diesel locomotives replacing steam after World War II. Operation continued until the mines closed in 1966. A number of relics remain and may form part of a proposed heritage site.

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Photo image believed public domain