Inchanga station in 1900, during the Boer War.
Inchanga station in 1900, during the Boer War.

From halfway house to end of the road

By Frank Chemaly Time of article published Sep 11, 2021

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THE old picture this week features the Inchanga Railway Station and is taken from the site Durban Down Memory Lane. The picture was taken in 1900 when the station was a key stopping point for trains ferrying troops during the Anglo-Boer War.

The Inchanga Station was built by the Natal Government Railway in 1892. It was originally a double storey, and the top floor housed a tearoom where passengers travelling between Durban and Pietermaritzburg could have lunch.

The station was opened in 1892 after the old Inchanga viaduct was closed and the route was realigned. The stationmaster’s house was built in 1895.

In 1900, the station was at its full size. It served as the halfway station between Durban and Pietermaritzburg until the 1930s when the current mainline was completed.

It was demolished to the present size in the 1930s.

Inchanga Railway Station today. Picture: Shelley Kjonstad/African News Agency(ANA)

Today the station is the headquarters of the Umgeni Steam Railway and the Railway Society of South Africa-KZN. It houses the Railway Archives Library.

The station master’s house is the Inchanga Railway Museum, which is operated by volunteer members of the Railway History Society. It relies solely on donations. The museum is only open on days when Umgeni Steam Railway operates train trips between Kloof and Inchanga on the last Sunday of each month, when it houses a local Inchanga community market.

Umgeni Steam Railway uses the Inchanga Railway Station as its depot and workshop for all its rolling stock. It is the end point for the Inchanga Choo Choo.

The station featured in the 1958 British drama Nor The Moon by Night starring Belinda Lee which was shot mainly in the Kruger National Park. The film was based on the novel by Joy Packer.

Our photographer Shelley Kjonstad’s pictures show the station today, beautifully preserved.

The Independent on Saturday

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