Umzinto – Donnybrook narrow gauge railway
|Umzinto - Donnybrook|
The Umzinto – Donnybrook narrow gauge railway is a closed 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge railway line in South Africa. It runs from Umzinto to Donnybrook, passing through Highflats and Ixopo, with a branch from Ixopo to Madonela (Union Bridge). The line was built in 1908 and was 93 miles (150 km)  in length.
The main line was constructed using second-hand rails becoming available from track upgrades on Cape gauge railways. The total line was laid at a cost of £3,200 a mile. The construction and equipment of this railway barely exceeded £300,000.
The 17.5-mile (28.2 km) Madonela Branch was built for a maximum axle load of 5 long tons (5.6 short tons; 5.1 t) and a speed of 12 miles per hour (19 km/h) at a cost of about £ 50 000 and the first trains ran on 2 February 1914.
In the 1970s a typical crew operation roster consisted of three daily trains: The first train from Ixopo to Donnybrook and return to Ixopo, a full day's shift. The second train also departed from Ixopo but serviced the Madonela branch and then went back to Ixopo. The third train departed from Umzinto.
At Highflats daily trains crossed at one o'clock in the afternoon, exchanged the crew and the locomotives were serviced. A single run cost more than 5 hours.
Although there was no official passenger transport, incidental travellers could find a place to travel in the guards van.
- Rail transport in South Africa
- List of South African locomotive classes
- List of abandoned railway lines in South Africa
- Two foot gauge railways in South Africa
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