Dunedin’s Maryhill Extension line was the world’s steepest public tramline. At the turn of the 20th century, this cable car ride was a tourist magnet with people coming from all over the world to experience the thrilling ride.

This year, the Light Rail Trust in Dunedin hopes to finalize plans to re-establish the Mornington cable car up High Street. Opened in 1881, this line closed in October 1957. I remember as a small boy being taken by my father to witness the last cable car (also called a tram) make the trip to the Mornington terminus. I didn’t understand all the fuss at the time but can now appreciate what a mistake it was to close this last of 4 cableways that once made Dunedin the envy of other southern hemisphere cities. Even in the 1950s, the Roslyn line was drawing tourists who wanted to experience this unique mode of public transport, especially on the steep inclines that made Dunedin’s network so exciting. It is amazing that the local council was so short sighted and ordered the closure of all the city’s cableways. As the years go by, the little trams would have only gained more popularity as is evident with the world’s last remaining system in San Francisco. read more