One of the steam locomotives of the original
2ft gauge phosphate railway on Nauru
The first, and only, railway in Nauru opened in 1907. It was a 2ft (610mm) gauge line, about 4km in length, serving the phosphate mining industry. The line was converted to 3ft (914mm) gauge in 1920.
In early 21st century the phosphate industry was in a state of decline. Mining ceased for a time, but was revived to recover secondary deposits (essentially waste from earlier mining operations) as part of an environmental rehabilitation process for the island. This work too was suspended after a while and operations are believed to have ceased completely around 2011.
One of the steam locomotives and several wagons of the original 2ft gauge line are preserved as a static, open air exhibit. Much of the infrastructure and equipment of the later line remains in place, but in the absence of any preservation efforts little is known about its present condition.
Photo image © Philip Game
Flag image from CIA World Factbook