Transport on Saint Helena

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This article deals with traffic in Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, that is all forms of traffic in the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

Saint Helena[edit]

Road traffic[edit]

The island of Saint Helena has a 138 km long road network, consisting of 118 km of paved and 20 km of unpaved road.[1] Most roads are single-lane, and uphill traffic has a right of way. A general speed limit of 30 miles per hour applies to the entire island. On Saint Helena there is a public bus network that currently (as of January 2015) serves five routes[2], but has been expanded since September 2015[3] and since March 2016[4] and numerous new routes in October 2017.[5]


The M/V Helena serves the island from Cape Town on a monthly basis.[6]

Saint Helena has a feeder and a harbour:

  • Jamestown (feeder)
  • Rupert’s Wharf in the Rupert’s Valley (harbour)

Air traffic[edit]

Airport Saint Helena

With the opening of Saint Helena Airport, scheduled flights have been operated since 14 October 2017. The new airport is served weekly from Johannesburg (South Africa) via Windhoek (Namibia).

Rail traffic[edit]

Ladder Hill Railway

In 1829, the Saint Helena Railway Company opened a horse-drawn railway from Jamestown to Half Tree Hollow.[7], which was also known as Ladder Hill Railway. The main purpose was to transport goods from the port of Jamestown to the higher houses. The service was discontinued in 1871.[8]

Another rail network was built for the seawater desalination plant in Rupert's Valley. Details of the track are not known.[9]


Road traffic[edit]

On Ascension there is a road network of 40 kilometres, which is continuously paved.[1] The public bus transport network has four stops (as of 2014).[10]


Ascension has a feeder in the island's capital Georgetown. The port was modernized in 2011 with a new crane, among other things.[11]

Air traffic[edit]

Wideawake-Flugfeld, Ascension

With Wideawake Airfield, Ascension has had an airport since 1943. This will be used primarily for military purposes, but since October 2017 it will also be served by scheduled services from Saint Helena.

Tristan da Cunha[edit]

Road traffic[edit]

Tristan da Cunha has a road network of 20 kilometres, half of which is paved or half unpaved.[1] The island has probably the smallest public bus network in the world. The fleet of minibuses is available to pensioners free of charge.[12]


Calshot Harbour, Tristan da Cunha

The shipping traffic is of outstanding importance for Tristan da Cunha, which has no airfield. All goods and travellers can only reach the island by sea. Tristan da Cunha is approached irregularly from Cape Town by MFV Geo Searcher, MFV Edinburgh, M/V Baltic Trader, S. A. Agulhas II.[13]

Tristan da Cunha has with the Calshot Harbour[14] a port in Edinburgh of the Seven Seas. The port was comprehensively renovated at the beginning of 2017.

Air traffic[edit]

Tristan da Cunha has no airport on the island. Therefore the island cannot be reached by plane.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]