The Chert Incline
Approaching Mount Victoria from Katoomba, look out
for Station St on your left as you cross the railway line - it goes down to a park. Drive
through the park and onto the railway access track. Go along until you are next to the
playing fields on your left. After this start looking along your right, not far after the
playing fields you will see the concrete foundations of the steam winder. The start of the
incline is reasonably hard to find as all traces have been obliterated at the start but
walk around and I'm sure you will come across it.
Information supplied by Ian L.
What is Chert?
My inquiries brought several responses:
Chert (flintstone), containing silica and quartz and possessing good binding properties
with small amounts of water, was used as road metal in road construction. In the 1920s the
Blue Mountains Shire Council had their own chert quarry on Mount Victoria Pass. The
research officer of the Mount Victoria & District Historical Society has researched
and written an article on this quarry, a copy of which is held in the library's local
Concerning the chert incline mentioned in your correspondent's email, I also have a
copy of an article, "Chert Incline, Mt. Victoria, NSW" by F. John Reid,
published in Light Railways (Journal of the Light Railway Research Society of
Australia) No.63, January 1979. The tramway incline was built in 1924 and operated by the
Mount Victoria Chert Road Metal & Timber Co. Ltd.
Information supplied by John L.
Off the top of my head, chert is the waste from a process involving mineral extraction. (A
bit like coal wash.)
Information provided by Vaughan W.
The most prevalent type of artefact found on a prehistoric site is a chert flake. Chert
is a coarse type of siliceous rock (a form of flint or chalcedony), which was the primary
raw material used by the aboriginal inhabitants of many places for the manufacture of a
wide variety of tools including projectile points (spear and arrowheads), drills, knives
Chert occurs naturally under specific geological conditions in bedrock formations,
where it can be "mined" or extracted in chunks or nodules. Chert nodules were
hammered and flaked into the rough outline of a "biface" or preform, and then
finely flaked into a finished tool such as an arrowhead. In the process of making a biface
or a finished tool, hundreds of small waste flakes are removed and discarded.
Archaeologists frequently first find a scatter of these chert waste flakes (debitage), an
important clue towards documenting a site. The waste flakes themselves sometimes have
razor-sharp edges which were simply an expedient tool for cutting or scraping, so it is
important for the archaeologist to carefully examine the edges of each and every flake.
Detailed archaeological excavation of a large camp site might result in the recovery of
thousands of chert flakes.
And also, according to http://www.northcoastjournal.com/mar98/3-98.environ.html
CHERT = County of Humboldt Extraction Review Team
Information supplied by Geoff L.