TasRail touts $160m in savings moving freight from road to rail
Tunnel vision: Tasmania's historic 'Idiotic Railway' up for sale
Tasmanian train drivers post clips of motorists taking risks at level crossings
Animal carcasses found dumped on disused rail line in Tasmania
Tresspass on Tasrail locomotive - Sulphur Creek
New train control system is a game changer for Tasrail
Major Announcement: Work on the Burnie Port Optimisation Project set to commence
Rail announced as preferred transport provider for new mine
Training improved after Tas rail accident
Low speed derailment near Kimberley
The tunnel at Tunnel Hill near Hobart was built in 1891 as part of the Bellerive-Sorell train line, also known as the 'Idiotic Railway'.
The railway operated until 1926, and was labelled idiotic after much debate about its viability — and some said it was faster to walk parts of the line.
A section of the 165-metre piece of rail history is being used to grow mushrooms, and its owner is searching for a neighbour with the tunnel up for lease.
It is described as dark, cold and humid, and entry is through several thousand mushrooms.
"I wouldn't say it's a great place to live," owner Dean Smith told ABC Radio Hobart.
"It's a unique spot, and one of a kind really."
The entrance to the tunnel, which is near Cambridge.(Supplied: Dean Smith)Doomsday preppers need not applyThe tunnel is separated in two parts belonging to different owners and has had many uses over the years.
During World War II it was used by the Defence Department and a zinc company to store records.
It was later used by the University of Tasmania for cosmic ray observations.
Mr Smith has owned 90 metres of the tunnel for 20 years.
He initially used it for storage, before converting it to a mushroom operation.
"I currently use the first 35–40 metres of that space for growing," Mr Smith said.
He said he was able to grow 100 kilograms of mushrooms in half the space each week, and does not need the rest of the tunnel.
"We looked at the back half of the tunnel and that would probably get us half a tonne of mushrooms a week, which is pretty serious stuff — and I don't think we're at that level yet," Mr Smith said.
Part of the tunnel is being used to grow mushrooms.(ABC Radio Hobart: Joel Rheinberger)"I'd be having to clone myself 10 times to be able to run that sort of operation.
"So there's a good section of tunnel there if anyone out there can think of a quirky way to use it."
Due to its moist mushroom-growing conditions, the tunnel is no longer suitable for storage and would have limited uses.
Mr Smith is hopeful it might tickle someone's fancy, whether it be as a cellar or for cheesemaking.
"It'd have to be the right sort of person, either creative or agricultural, rather than storage or someone preparing for the zombie apocalypse," he said.
The train station at Bellerive in 1910.(Supplied: Bellerive Historical Society)Dark, cold and hard to heatThe heritage-listed tunnel is three metres wide and four metres high.
Located near Cambridge, it formed part of the railway line that ran from Kangaroo Bay in Bellerive, winding through Mornington to Cambridge and on to Sorell over a causeway at Pittwater.
It reportedly took an hour to get from Bellerive to Sorell, despite being only a 20-kilometre journey.
The tunnel sits 12 metres below ground and the floor is gravel, but there is power and light.
Mr Smith said the tunnel was naturally about 60 per cent humidity, but since being set up for mushroom production it sits at 90 per cent.
"It's pretty cold and very hard to heat," he said.
"You'd have to be comfortable with less than 12 degrees.
"It smells of wet mould, not the nicest."
The railway line soon became defunct when cars and trucks could do the trip faster.(Supplied: Bellerive Historical Society)
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2020 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.