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Part 2: Greyville Loco, Greyville Station to Umgeni & Berea Road to Rossburgh

by Les Pivnic ©

Please note: All photographs, maps and text in Soul of a Railway are protected by copyright and may not be copied or reproduced in any way for further use without prior permission in writing from the compilers of this series, Les Pivnic and Charlie Lewis.

Part 2 will take us to Greyville Loco Depot and then on the line from Greyville Station to Umgeni and finally, from Berea Road to Rossburgh.

In all the years that I have visited Greyville Loco, I have always come away with a feeling that successive Loco Foremen at that particular Depot have kept up a tradition which called for generally clean engines – not super-shine but clean.  Yes, I have seen exceptions but by and large, the engines at that Depot were invariably kept in a good, clean condition.  This reminds me of an instance when I was Assistant Curator in the South African Railway Museum and dealing with engines being set aside for the National Collection.  We decided to add class GL Garratt no.2352 to our collection and when GM’s approval came through to us in our Johannesburg office, I phoned the Loco Foreman at Greyville to ask him to prepare the engine for haulage up to Germiston Loco where we intended staging the old girl. The Loco Foreman (sadly his name is no longer in my memory bank) was having none of it!  He said to me that no engine will leave his Depot under haulage – he will have her ready to steam and travel up to Germiston under her own power!  I gratefully accepted this which was in our interest to receive an engine in working order.  In due course, 2352 brought herself (running light) up to Germiston where she was staged pending Museum development.  For reasons too lengthy to go into here, the development of our planned new Museum was shelved indefinitely and for reasons beyond our control, 2352 deteriorated where she stood at Germiston.  I had sleepless nights over this sad event which was aggravated by the fact that I was powerless to do anything about it!

At a later date, the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester asked if they could acquire the engine for display in their institution – since it was built in that City by Beyer Peacock.  Due to problems on our side, this was agreed to and she went back to the City of her birth and is proudly displayed today in that Museum.  A final word on this engine: she was the GL Garratt selected to haul the 1947 Royal Train between Glencoe and Piet Retief. Her sister 2355, hauled the Pilot Train over the same section.


In this second part covering Natal, my thanks are again due to the following people who contributed so many fine images and additional information:

Bruno Martin for providing his superb map of the area, Andrew Deacon for the formatting, Peter Stow, Don Baker, Yolanda Meyer of the Transnet Heritage Library (THL), Peter Micenko, Charlie Lewis, Charles Parry (and Dick Manton for rescuing Charles's slides which had deteriorated badly), Ashley Peter and RSSA Natal for making available the photographs of the late Brian Couzens, Greg Hart for scanning Brian Couzens’ photos and again Ashley Peter for assisting with additional information for the captions to Brian Couzens’ photos.

1. The station opposite the Loco Depot remained a reminder of the NGR days – the original building serving right until the end when it was demolished to make way for the new Durban main station. The building of the new main station at Greyville resulted in quite an angry exchange of views regarding its situation well away from the CBD.  The SAR Administration wanted to build the new station on the Esplanade at the bottom of Gardiner Street but Durban Corporation was having none of that!  So the new complex ended up well away from the CBD and this led to Berea Road (also rebuilt) becoming the main station to serve the City of Durban as far as local passengers were concerned. Passengers travelling on main line long-distance trains had to accept the hassle of getting out to Greyville to board or meet those trains.

2. Three reboilered Hendrie engines – a 16CR flanked by two 14Rs - line up at the water column before going on duty in 1959.

3. Another 1959 picture shows an interesting line-up at Greyville.  Prominent in the foreground is GC 2181, six of which were supplied by Beyer Peacock in 1924.  They were the prototype for the far more numerous and very successful GCA's.  By the end of 1961 all the GCs had been retired.  Behind the Garratt is a class 17 (see picture 7) and there are several class H2 tank engines on other roads. 

4. On another visit to Greyville Loco I found this smart 14R being prepared for the road. The two front-footplate handrails were not original – just an addition by an enthusiastic driver!

The 14Rs were the most numerous, useful and ubiquitous class of steam locomotive to see service in Natal.  They all gave more than 60 years of service of which more than half was on the Natal Main Line.  

5. This photograph by the late Brian Couzens serves to illustrate what I remember of Greyville engines – look at the 14R in the foreground and the H2 tank engine beyond – all nice and clean!

6. GEA 4021 takes on a final drink of water before leaving the Depot for duty up or down the Coast.

7. Frank Holland tells us that 21 of these class 17 tank+tender engines were introduced in the mid-twenties by removing the rear coal bunker of class A 4-8-2Ts and adding a tender.  In this format they gave more than 30 years service so were quite successful, outlasting the class A tanks which spawned them.

8. By 1964 when this photo was made the only tank engines still active on SAR were the H2's.  There are three in this view, together with a 16CR, an S2, a GEA and a 14R.

9. In this scene a GCA Garratt seems to be getting a lot of attention from shed staff.


10.  A panoramic view of Greyville showing L – R: 14R, 16CR, GEA and another 16CR.  This Depot provided engine power for the North and South Coast sections as well as the old main line via Pinetown up until 1959 – note the overall tidiness of the Shed!

 
11. Cleaners at work – this Greyville 14R is being cleaned but note the “stop board” hung off the right-hand cylinder – obviously a fitter is also at work attending to something. 

12. The ashpits at Greyville were equipped with a mechanical appliance to load ash into DZs for removal.  In this scene, the GEA is having her fire cleaned while an S2 can be seen in the background at the Running Shed.


13. SAR's most muscle-bound machines, the GL's, were stationed at Glencoe when this photo was taken but they came down to Durban for Heavy Repair in Durban Shops. This engine is just ex-works and will soon leave for her home shed. Note the outside regulator rodding – some GL boilers had internal regulator linkages. 


14. Visible in this February 1964 photo are H2's, GCA's, GEA's, a GF, 14R's and a 16CR. That represents six out of the eight different classes distributed among 138 engines allocated to Greyville at this time - the only missing from the photo being classes 8 and S2 (although the eagle-eyed among you would have spotted an S2 tender).

15. In a quieter part of the Shed, we see from the left, a GEA, GF, H2 and in the foreground another GEA.

16. Back at the water column, a driver oils around while his fireman tops up the water on this H2 before they go on duty. With these engines being confined to shunting duty, they retained their old oil-headlamps.

17. As late as February 1964 there were still 14 H2's (all allocated to Greyville) and one H1 (East London) on the books.  Greyville's engines were used on station pilot duties at Durban and they shunted the Harbour, becoming a favourite among photographers at the ore terminal in the 1970s.


18. Another GCA gets her water tank topped up before leaving the Depot to work a passenger train down the South Coast.


19. Three 14Rs lined up near the Running Shed before going on duty.  These reboilered Hendrie 4-8-2s gave Natal sterling service, originally as class 14 on the main line and later as 14Rs on all sorts of work, goods and passenger, on secondary lines.


20. An S2’s tender in silhouette on the left with a GCA and a GEA on the right.  


21. Brian found this GL obviously just out of shops and a 15CA standing on an adjacent road while an H2 was busy on the coal-stage in the distance. The headlights on the two engines indicate that this photo was taken some time after 1963 when those horrible sealed-beam headlamps were introduced.


22. GCA 2192 was well-positioned for a portrait just clear of the Running Shed. These engines did a lot of good work in Natal and the Eastern Transvaal.  They were even tested on the South West Africa System at one time.



23.  The pleasing lines of a 16CR are evident in this broadside of No 817, photographed in 1965.  This engine was of particular interest to me because in the 1930s the late Frank Garrison had photographed her as a 16C working train 202, the fast passenger to Cape Town, at various locations west of Johannesburg. For many years she was stationed at Braamfontein Loco, Johannesburg from where she worked the passenger link right through to Kimberley (Les Pivnic photo).


24. Don Baker recorded this line-up of 14Rs and a solitary H2 during 1967.

25. You could always tell a regular engine by the personalised ornaments and names that drivers used, giving a touch of individuality that one scarcely, if ever, sees on diesels or electrics.  14Rs, an S2 and a GEA all shedmates at Greyville in 1967.

26. Ashley Peter writes: A 15CA trundles past Greyville loco depot, probably en route to pick up a North Coast-bound goods train in Stamford Hill yard in 1968.  At this stage some efforts were already being made to keep steam locos out of the central city areas and North Coast loads would be moved between the Bayhead marshalling yards and Stamford Hill by electric haulers, steam only working goods trains north from there.  The NGG13 loco on the flatbed wagon is something of a mystery as most of the Natal garratts went directly to the Pietermaritzburg Mechanical Workshops at Mayor's Walk for major overhauls, without any need to call at Greyville.  Perhaps the engine was on transfer and awaiting instructions.  Also visible is a Class GCA Garratt in the middle distance (probably from the Kelso - Umzinto line and in for its fortnightly boiler washout) and an H2 tank, very likely No 329 "Mooby" (later changed to "Moby") - the regular shed pilot - shunting the coal stage. 


27. GCA, H2 and a 14R pose quietly for another photo for Brian.


28. H2 No 314 looking very smart indeed!  She was the Shed Pilot at this time and was certainly a credit to the Depot.  After retirement in 1976 she was plinthed on Estcourt station, and several years later returned to the railway network and hauled to Hilton with the intention that it would be restored to running order.  Who knows, this may still happen one day…..


29.  Time for a boiler wash-out!  This 16CR having her boiler drained, caught my eye as I walked around the Shed. I was always ready to capture something different with my camera.


30. One didn’t often see breakdown cranes at work but Brian caught this one lifting an engine tender.  This was not normal practice so it would have been interesting to know what was actually going on here.


31. On a visit in 1967, I found this 16R no.790 alongside a “Big Bill” – class 15CB No 2066.  Following electrification of the Eastern Transvaal Main Line in the mid-1960s, commencing in December 1964 all twelve 15CBs were transferred to Greyville especially to work the North Coast where traffic was growing exponentially.  From mid-1966 onwards they were joined by twelve 15CAs, also released by the E Tranvaal electrification.  Eventually they were more evenly distributed between Greyville, Stanger and Empangeni sheds where, being relatively fleet of foot, they became extremely popular amongst crews who had been accustomed to plodding Garratts.


32. The class GE’s in the 1960’s were used mainly on North Coast freight traffic and were allocated to Stanger and Empangeni. Here a second series has found its way to Greyville, no doubt for repairs. 


33. Here we have the shed pilot, H2 No 227 shunting 15CB 2063 and a GEA.


34. Near the 15M Shop in 1967 I found classes H2, 15CA and a GE Garratt.  Greyville was never short on variety of motive power and especially so in the mid-1960s.


35. In 1970, one could still find H2 tank engines at Greyville – now, 70 years of service and still earning their keep! Here is No 321 near the Loco Foreman’s office.


36. By mid 1966 the Big Bills had been joined at Greyville by a dozen of their younger brothers, the 15CAs.  Leith photographed 2042 soon after its arrival at Greyville. The arrival of the class 15CB’s and then some 15CA’s at Greyville was probably the most exiting change brought to the depot in the 1960’s. Compared to the more muffled exhaust of the Hendrie engines, the sound of these locomotives blasting away from station stops on local trains was just something else.


37. Greyville stalwarts. The 52 class 14R’s and 18 class GEA’s were the most numerous of a class allocated to Greyville in June 1964, apart from the 30 class S2 shunting locomotives. Here a class 14R stands silhouetted against a class GEA. It was unusual to see Greyville engines smoking like this as it appeared that only good Natal coal was used but the locomotive was being prepared for another round of duty and maybe the blower was not being used effectively.


38. Another scene from 1970 at Greyville: classes GEA, GCA and 14R outside the Running Shed.

39. Peter Micenko writes: December marked the annual "builders break" and the Transvaalers flocked to the sea. 1975 was my first Christmas in South Africa and I hitched a ride from site with a couple of engineers for the drive from Phalaborwa to Durban. Despite the crowds on the beaches it was quiet in the Greyville steam locomotive sheds with many H2 tanks, S2 shunters and 14R's also resting right in the middle of a bustling multistory CBD.

40. Greyville was often temporary host to locomotives sent to Durban Mechanical Works for repairs. Here Mason Mill based class 8 number 1104 is being prepared to return for operation on the Estcourt – Bergville branch. 

41. Maybe this class GF is consoling the diminutive GCA after the latter had been withdrawn from the Port Shepstone passenger trains in this 1960’s box camera shot. In June 1964 Greyville had an allocation of 9 class GF’s used mainly on local passenger and pick-up goods trains. 

42. Peter Micenko writes: The tortuous grades and curves of the Natal system and shear volume of traffic required a real tiger of a locomotive and this was achieved with Hendrie's 14 class (later reboilered with a standard Watson boiler to become class 14R). Although workstained this shot shows not only the need for sand but also the engineering changes that were made in order to fit a Watson standard boiler. Note the 3-inch cast packer under the smoke box saddle and a 6-inch extension on the bottom of the cab.

43. Outside the main shed, a 14R, 15CA and GCA were awaiting assignments in June 1968.

44. Peter M again: The work on construction of the new station complex had not commenced on this site. During my December 1975 visit I did not see any of the H2's working but there seemed to be half a dozen S2's around the T wharf and several 14R's shunting the carriage sidings and station. 

45. A very interesting view by Brian Couzens brings our visit to Greyville Loco to an end. This shot illustrates the variety that this Depot provided – in just one photo we see classes GCA, 16CR, 15CA/CB and an S2.

46. The stabled 5M2A EMU set in this photo is not the purpose of including it here – the scene you are looking at is a March 1997 view of the yard where Greyville Loco previously was situated as seen from the Argyle Road Bridge.  Not a trace left! 


47.  We now turn our attention to the line past Greyville – going north as far as Umgeni in this chapter. Ashley Peter writes: A Class 14R is working this Empangeni passenger train between Durban and Greyville stations sometime in 1968.  Somewhat unusually, what appears to be a Class S2 shunts coaches in the adjacent Lord's Ground carriage yards, where clerestory roofs are still in the majority - this was normally Class 14R territory.

48. The SAR used to provide several Saturday’s Only passenger trains from the main cities, no doubt to cater for those who had to work on Saturday mornings. Your photographer was initially disappointed not to get 1E’s and a uniform rake of clerestory coaches on this 14h15 Saturday afternoon train to Empangeni on 16 January, 1971.  However, the photograph does illustrate the cleanliness of Umbilo’s dedicated passenger train locomotives, here headed by class 5E1 651. 

 
49. A GF brings the 16:44 all-stations Durban-Stanger to its stop at Greyville in the evening rush hour. In the background, the ready tracks of Greyville loco with GEA, H2 and 14R moving off shed to new assignments.  In the middle background is the sand-drying house and on the horizon the Durban skyline barely 2km, or a one shilling rickshaw ride away. January 1963.


50. Next stop Durban!  Still close to Greyville Loco and we see a 14R pulling away from the old station with a local passenger train from Verulam in 1959. 


51. An unidentified class GEA trundles past Greyville Loco with a block load of processed sugar from the North Coast destined for the sugar terminal at Maydon Wharf.  December 1960.


52. In this 1961 shot, a 14R drifts past Greyville Loco with a local passenger train from the North Coast.  Note the solitary coach bringing-up the rear of the train in the newly-adopted red & grey livery.


53. In 1963 this 4M EMU was seen heading north along the line near Stamford Hill towards Umgeni and Kwa Mashu with a local from Dalbridge.


54. In January 1965 another 4M set on the Dalbridge - Kwa Mashu service was photographed passing Greyville Loco while H2 No 288 stood on a staging road on the left.   


55. Also in January 1965, three class 1E's, No's 71, 7 and 70 on hauler duty growled past Greyville with a goods load for the North Coast.  Ashley Peter, a senior member of railway operating staff in Durban, advises that these units would work loads from Bayhead as far as Stamford Hill where steam traction would take over for the journey up the North Coast main line (please refer to his comment on Brian Couzen's picture 26 above).


56. The ex-Cape Western 4M sets were kept very busy in Natal – this set from Kwa Mashu is heading for Berea Road and Dalbridge.  In those days (January 1967) we didn’t have to worry about the trains being daubed with graffiti or burnt!


57. Heading for Durban in January 1967, this steam-hauled packet also put in an appearance near Greyville, the engine was 14R 1742. 


58. Class 14R No 1749 was also seen passing Greyville station with train 291 for Empangeni in January 1967.


59. On my January 1967 trip there was plenty of traffic on the line past Greyville – this time a 14R 1714 with a load of timber from the North Coast.  Note the primitive method of loading pulpwood onto DZ wagons in the days before the introduction of ST wagons with their permanent steel stanchions.


60. Brian Couzens used the Argyle Road bridge to get a shot of the Empangeni passenger hauled by an unidentified class 14R.  An H2 is seen on the left in Greyville Loco.


61. The Empangeni passenger, No 291-down, passing Greyville Loco – this time with a 15CA in charge.


62. A train to Verulam heading north past Greyville Loco with a class 16CR at the head-end c 1967.


63. At Stamford Hill, a 4M set for Kwa Mashu was seen heading north. January 1967. 


64. The Empangeni passenger was well covered by many photographers – this shot near Greyville with an unidentified 14R in January 1967. 


65. By 1968, 5M2A EMU sets were running on the Kwa Mashu service and here is one of them passing Greyville Loco.  The interesting line-up of engines in the Depot are: classes S2, GE, H2 and a GCA.


66. Ashley Peter writes: By 1969 the line to Stanger had been electrified, allowing Empangeni trains to be worked that far by electric units, as evidenced by this pair of Class 1E units about to pass under the Argyle Road bridge just north of Greyville station.  Despite the electrification, some through passenger trains bound for Empangeni and beyond would continue with steam operation from Durban station for some time.  A GF and a GL can be seen standing in one of the external sidings of the adjacent Greyville steam loco depot on the left.


67. Ashley again: One can almost hear the cannon-like blast of the exhaust as this 15CA pulls away with typical gusto from Stamford Hill station with a northbound semi-fast destined for Empangeni in 1967.


68. Life has been relatively easy thus far for the crew of this 14R on a North Coast suburban train coming under the Goble Road bridge just north of Stamford Hill station in 1968. They had left Durban about ten minutes previously en route to Tongaat or Stanger.  However, this is about to change quite dramatically and in a few moments the fireman will be busy packing his firebox for the 1-in-30 climb up to Red Hill, followed by a steep descent to Avoca and then another similar ascent to Duff's Road, all interspersed with 300ft (90m) radius curves.  Of interest is the second coach, which is a 3rd Class with a single compartment beyond the toilets.  This dates it back to the depression years c 1930 when a special concession was made to allow "poor whites" to travel 3rd Class - but in their own separate accommodation, of course!  The closer of the two tracks in the foreground is the non-electrified service line that served the old quarry siding and other private sidings at Umgeni, whilst the second line is the goods avoiding line (thank you Ashley for another informative caption).


69.  The State President's White Train staged at the dedicated platform at Stamford Hill, which was the preferred destination for VIP trains due to improved security arrangements and better road vehicle access than Durban station.  Thanks to Peter Stow we can confirm that the date was pre-1969 when the White Train guard's van was changed to an ex-Travelling Post Office articulated van.  According to reports in the 1970's, this platform was also the chosen destination for main line rugby specials, as it was within easy walking distance from the King's Park rugby stadium (thank you again, Ashley).


70. We now turn our attention to the Main Line from Berea Road to Rossburgh.  We are extremely grateful to the Transnet Heritage Library for permission to publish this scene depicting an NGR suburban train entering Berea Road c 1908.  The locomotive is a class A 4-8-2T and the coaches are standard NGR 48ft clerestory stock.

 
  
71. A very new class 3E with 199-down from Johannesburg, between Rossburgh and Durban.  When first placed in service in 1948, some of the 3E's saw service in Natal but they were designed for working traffic on the Western Transvaal System based at the ERS at Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Not really suitable for the severe and constant curvature of the Natal Main Line some difficulty was experienced with cracked frames so that those working in Natal were soon transferred to Johannesburg where they remained for the rest of their lives.  These units were geared for a top speed of 65mph.

 

72.  Class 1E no.188 working a train from Pinetown to Durban is seen here near Congella c 1960.  Electrification of the original NGR Main Line from Rossburgh to Cato Ridge was commenced soon after the new Main Line via Dellville Wood was energised in 1936.  Some time during WWII the work was halted and not restarted until the late fifties, eventually being switched on in May 1959. 

 
73. Sister class 1E no.189 was photographed with another train from Pinetown, also near Congella. If you compare this photo with photo 72, you will notice the different cowcatchers that were in use on class 1E units. This plain plate type was originally part of a batch imported in 1945 but the bogies were sometimes interchanged resulting in units from different orders carrying cowcatchers not as originally fitted.


74. Taking up a position on Congella platform, I photographed 5E1 No 475 working a Durban-bound train from Wests.  In 1960 these units were brand new, having recently arrived from their UK manufacturers Metropolitan-Vickers.


75. Red and green 5E1s with a main line passenger train were caught in action between Congella and Dalbridge.  The rusting tracks in the foreground were taken out of service c 1960 in preparation for the mega octupling (if that's the right word) between Dalbridge and Greyville involving a double-track flyover to give non-conflicting access for North Coast goods trains to-and-from Bayhead marshalling yard as well as a direct link for township trains between Dalbridge and Kwa Mashu (see Bruno's map).


76. The Orange Express with 5E1s nos.415 & 394 was seen at the same spot near Congella in January 1964.  Even at this late date the coaches are almost all in Imperial brown livery. This train sometimes ran with pooled coaching stock which was a pity, considering that it was one of the SAR’s top-link passenger trains – second only to the Blue Train. 


77. 
A 1E approaching Rossburgh with a local for Malvern on the old main line in January 1964. 


78. From the road bridge on Durban side of Dalbridge, the 08:10 Port Shepstone - Durban approaching Berea Road with an unknown GCA in May 1959. The 2nd vehicle in the consist is an ex CSAR Limited Express coach originally finished in those far-off days in chocolate & cream livery.  

This whole location was soon to change because of the impending introduction of a township service direct from Dalbridge to Kwa Mashu. These trains did not have to go through Durban's old station, but used the avoiding line under Alice Street which was tripled. This led to an expansion of Dalbridge station with several new platforms. The township trains ceased to terminate at Dalbridge when the Umlazi and Crossmore lines were opened several years later, going south, which is how the station is in use today.   


79. On the same day, the 14:18 Illovo Beach - Durban all stations arriving at Dalbridge with a 16CR while on the opposite (Up) side of the platform it looks as if the driver of the 15:33 Durban-Umkomaas all stations has just blown the whistle.

 
 
80. Charles Parry took this photo from the footbridge at Dalbridge station in early 1959. He says the 5E-hauled local was either coming in from Cato Ridge via the new Main Line or from Wests. At this time the earthworks for the flyover to take North Coast goods trains into Bayhead had just begun - you can just make out the bare earthen ramp behind the last coach. Within five years the complete remodeling of Dalbridge station would make this scene unrecognisable.  Thank you Charles for making photos 78, 79 and 80 available and to Dick Manton for practically eliminating the ravages of their storage in Natal.


81. Class 16BR 802 departing from Rossburgh towards Durban with a local from the South Coast in January 1964. 


82. Class 16CR 817 with 808-up, the 13:07 SaO Durban-Umkomaas semi-fast, passing the site of old Umbilo station (see Bruno's map), in January 1963.  Interesting that this train catered for those who still worked on Saturday mornings and as usual, most of the windows are open.


83. This was quite possibly the same working a year later and a little closer to Rossburgh - this time with a much more smartly turned out
16CR.

 
84. Two 5E1s No's 649 & 601 in January 1964 are working the Cape-bound Orange Express near Rossburgh.  It was good to see this train in a uniform livery – it looked so smart and befitting of a top-link main line passenger train.


85. During an overhead occupation two 14R’s 1701 and 1746 are hauling train 190, the daily 15h20 mainly third class express from Durban to Johannesburg, through Rossburgh station with the Congella power station in the background, on 22 August 1971. Even though the locomotives are working hard, there is not even a wisp of smoke. The presence of two Hendrie second class balcony coaches behind the Vapour Clarkson steam heat vehicle was unusual and although appearing occupied were probably on transfer.  At this time the train normally consisted of a uniform rake of type H-32 Union Carriage and Wagon built third class sleeper coaches with two composite coaches and a van trailing. 

 
86. This 1E No 118 with a local from Pinetown has just left Rossburgh on its way to Durban in January 1964.


87. The diminutive GCA's were joyous engines. Like Temba Bavuma they punched above their weight, invariably performing their tasks with gusto.  Here's one enjoying a good thrash through Rossburgh with Port Shepstone-bound freight in February 1964. 

The two tracks on the right are the up and down main lines to Cato Ridge and Pietermaritzburg while angling in from the left, just ahead of the 16CR, are the incoming up-and-down lines of the old NGR main line (see photo 89 below).

88. Contributor to this chapter, Don Baker, photographing a South Coast local in Rossburgh station in July 1953.  This was on a schools camping trip to the South Coast via the Orange Express from Cape Town.  The return trip entailed leaving the train from Port Shepstone to join the Orange Express at Rossburgh.

89. An Umkomaas semi-fast accelerating away from Rossburgh in February 1964.  To the left of the engine you can see the main line to Cato Ridge and Pietermaritzburg ramping up towards the flyover at Booth Junction while the pair of tracks curving away sharply to the right is the NGR main line to Pinetown and (eventually) Cato Ridge. 



We will resume our photographic tour of Natal by visiting the harbour and Wests.  An innovation to Soul of a Railway with the next chapter, will be the inclusion of the Administration’s harbour craft and in particular, those magnificent ocean-going steam-driven salvage tugs that doubled up for harbour use at South African ports – not forgetting the dredgers that kept the entrances to the harbours clear.