As a port city Durban was a vital historical cog in the wheel of the industrialisation of Africa, having developed the first steam railway in South Africa in 1860, second only to Africa’s first railway built in Egypt in 1856.
From a simple wooden track to a vital link from harbour to city centre and on into the hinterland, the original Natal railway wound its way through some of the most difficult terrain, enabling much needed goods to reach into South Africa as gold was being discovered, was responsible for transporting supplies and troops during wartime, and, became infamous for the Ghandi incident, where the Mahatma was unceremoniously thrown of a First class carriage at the Pietermaritzburg station.
Whilst Durban’s Old Court house Museum, itself the oldest building in the CBD, now houses images of our city’s railway history, the best place from which to really experience this heritage is on the footplate of an original locomotive.
DUrbanTV stepped aboard the Umgeni Steam Railway to be shunted back in time as the Inchanga choo-choo wound its way through the picturesue valley of a 1000 hills.
#Durbanhasmore when it comes to historical heritage.