Traveling back in time is no longer just a dream. Thanks to the passion and dedication of the Ekström brothers, residents and holidaymakers in the Garden Route region are about to embark on a nostalgic journey of a bygone era, behind a meticulously restored steam locomotive. Mark your calendars for Saturday, 25 November 2023, departing from the Hartenbos Train Station to Great Brak and back.
In the heart of the Garden Route, nestled along the picturesque Mossel Bay, the Southern Cape Railway is bringing history back to life. It all started in the late 1980s when Errol Ekström recognized a longing for a steam-hauled tourist train experience in the Mossel Bay region. With the assistance of Spoornet officials, he secured permission to use the GMAM Garratt locomotive no. 4070, a relic that had been out of operation for many years.
On 16 December 1990, Southern Cape Railway organized its first steam-hauled train trip, setting out from Mossel Bay. Over the years, the company expanded its routes, offering special train trips from Mossel Bay to Cape Town, Oudtshoorn and Port Elizabeth to Addo.
However, in the last decade, South Africa has witnessed a significant decline in rail traffic and infrastructure. It was in this climate that the Ekström brothers – Sean, Kevin, and Graeme – recognized the need to offer their community and holidaymakers a chance to step back in time and savour the nostalgia of a bygone era.
Years of negotiations and discussions have yielded results, and now, Southern Cape Railway is proud to present an authentic steam train experience in the greater Mossel Bay area. The dream of recreating the magic of steam locomotives has become a reality, and they’re inviting you to join them on an unforgettable journey.
The converted lounge car, Coach 1893, was originally built as a class D-15 First and Second Class Mainline Composite coach between 1913 and 1930. It was one of only eight imported in 1926. Coach 1893 has recently been transformed into a lounge car, complete with a bar and comfortable seating.
Whether you choose Public Passenger seating, the Bar Lounge, Private Coupe (seats 3), or Private Compartments (seats 6), Southern Cape Railway ensures that your journey will be a step back in time to an era of elegance and charm.
For more information visit www.scrail.co.za