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…

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Humewood Station standing empty

The difference between the Port Elizabeth Railway Station (opened in 1899) and the Humewood Railway Station (opened in 1905) is that Humewood was built to accommodate narrow gauge - 2 ft (610 mm) - trains that made use of the Avontuur Railway (or Apple Express line as most of us know it) to the Gamtoos Valley, Kouga area and Langkloof.  Sadly since the line has been closed after flooding the station has died, most of the buildings demolished and all…

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3 minutes by train from Uitenhage to Port Elizabeth

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OIy08BSKNo&w=500&h=400]When last have you been on a train?  It's something most of us don't get to do and I really think it's leaving  gap in our lives.  And to think it's something our parents probably did quite often when they were young.  Alan Straton of MyPE took the train from Uitenhage to Port Elizabeth and condensed the 45 minute trip in 3 minutes.  I loved it when I saw it and just had to share. 

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Miniature train station

The Eastern Cape has many abandoned train stations that hasn't seen any trains in many years.  The miniature train station in Londt Park isn't quite one of them.  The station lays quiet for 30 days at a time but on the first Sunday of every month it becomes a hub of activity with families coming to ride the miniature trains for a morning of fun and nostalgia.

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The Port Elizabeth Railway Station

The Port Elizabeth Railway Station has been around for a while, existing on it's present location since 1875 when the first line was constructed to Uitenhage about 40 kilometres away.  The original building was designed by the town's Resident Engineer for Harbour and Public Works, James Bisset.  In 1893 extensive additions were completed, including the cast-iron supported roof of the main concourse, designed by E.J. Sherwood.  It's a pity that rail travel has declined so much over the last few year…

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Sunnyside Station

Geocaching is taking me to all kinds of places I haven't been to before.  And here I was thinking I've been everywhere. This specific Grannynasty cache took me a bit off the beaten track along a dirt road just west of the Van Stadens Bridge to the old Sunnyside Station, 29 1/2 miles from Port Elizabeth.  The station is on the narrow gauge railway line that runs from Port Elizabeth all the way to Avontuur in the Langkloof.  The line which used…

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Little trains

On the first Sunday of the month families with young children (mostly but definitively not exclusively) flock to the Port Elizabeth Model Locomotive Society's venue in Fernglen to ride these beautiful little trains.  It only costs R6 per person for a ride which will take you around the yard on a couple of loops, through a tunnel and over the Great Grass River bridge.  There are both miniature diesel as well as steam trains and here two of the steam loco's are…

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Train grave yard

The narrow gauge Humewood Station has been in the news lately because of its rundown state. Although it always have had a bit of "character", it has deteriorated of late and fell into disrepair. Spoornet has now decided to demolish all the old structures on the property and to clean it up. I don't know if they have any plans to redevelop another station (for the Apple Express to use), but anything will look beter than what its been like.…

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Boys and their toys

We went to ride the miniature trains at Londt Park last Sunday and it was very interesting to watch afterwards how the guys clean them by taking out the burning coals and blowing the trains clean with a steam gun.

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