Tjoekepaf, here comes the Apple Express

A busy schedule, working till just before Christmas and all kinds of other excuses led to us only being able to go on the Apple Express on the last weekend it was running in January.  And it seems I placed the photos in a folder to edit and totally forgot to do so.  After nearly 8 years of inactivity, the first fase of the Apple Express' comeback took place in December with a partnership between the operator, the municipality and Transnet.  The…

1 Comment

End of the line

It is sad to see all the unused railway infrastructure around Port Elizabeth either on the harbour, around Humewood or next to the Settlers Freeway.  After a lunchtime event at This is Eat on the harbour I grabbed the camera for a couple of photos before heading back to the office.


Flashback to the Apple Express

I received this breathtaking picture of the Apple Express crossing over the Van Stadens Railway Bridge, the highest narrow gauge railway bridge in the world, from fellow Geocacher Graham Chrich yesterday.  Graham was in the Van Stadens area for the Rhino Run last weekend and decided to do a couple of Geocaches located in the area.  Looking for info on the gorge he came across a post of mine about the railway bridge and it reminded him of a trip…

1 Comment

The unused railway line

The Avontuur Railway, better known as the Apple Express narrow gauge line, was built between 1890 and 1906 to link the fruit growing Langkloof with Port Elizabeth.  The line doesn't just cross the highest narrow gauge railway bridge in the world, but at 285 km is also said to be the longest narrow gauge line in the world.  So sad to see it not being used and falling further and further into disrepair.


Narrow gauge sheds

The Transnet Humerail Diesel Depot is situated between Humerail and Humewood in the same valley that the narrow gauge line going west runs.  It is here that a couple of dedicated people are painfully trying to restore the Apple Express with the hope that Transnet will repair the line and allow this iconic train to run again.  The view in picture is just off Driftsands Road after a short walk along a path.  Something I discovered while out looking for,…

1 Comment

Narrow gauge line

The narrow gauge railway line between Port Elizabeth and the town of Avontuur in the Langkloof  was built by the government of the Cape Colony between 1890 and 1906 and at 285 kilometres it is the longest 610-mm-narrow gauge route in the world.  Along the way the line crosses over the highest two foot narrow-gauge railway bridge in the world.  In 1965 the Apple Express tourist train started operating on part of the line and finally seized operations in 2011 due to…


Apple Express

I live fairly close to the narrow guage line that is used by the Apple Express and can normally hear it when it goes by on a Saturday morning. The historic Apple Express narrow gauge train offers day trips to Loerie as well as 3 day trips to Kareedouw in the Langkloof. Construction on this historic line commenced in 1902 and was done to connect the scenic Langkloof with its fruit growing industry to the port of Port Elizabeth. As…



Admittedly steam engines are not every conservationists ideal, but there is something about them that people respond to, much more than the diesel or electric engines that run our trains these days. As of next month, the beloved apple express will be running on steam again, YAY!