May 27, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

More than R1m flood damage forces Durban’s famous steam train to a halt

Durban’s famous Umgeni steam railway has had to close after recent flooding caused extensive damage and undermined the tracks.

The non-profit company, run by volunteers, was forced to launch a crowdfunding campaign to cover costs in excess of R1 million.

“The vicious floods of recent weeks have left their mark on the Old Main Line between Kloof and Incanga, severely undermining the railway tracks and causing hundreds of thousands of Rand worth damage” said Ashley Peter, Chairwoman of the Umgeni Steam Railway.

“We are so disappointed and frustrated. We were just getting back on our feet, recovering financially and getting back on track after the long Covid-19 lockdown with great plans for the whole of the April and May holidays and now we have this extraordinary setback.

“Parts of the track have been severely undermined and require extensive (and expensive) 24/7 rehabilitation. It’s a monumental task, requiring large teams of workers and hundreds of tons of landfill material to clean up,” he said.

There are several locations along the route where landslides, sinkholes and the foundation occurred under the railroad The line has been washed away leaving some of the tracks hanging in the air.

There are several sections of the line that have been damaged, four sections in particular – two near Inchanga.

< p>“The refurbishment will cost over R1m – a crippling amount for the Umgeni Steam Railway.

For donations to support earthmoving equipment such as a TLB and backfill, email [email protected] or send them a message on their social media pages.

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