All Aboard the Umgeni Steam Railway train to Inchanga!

The Inchanga Choo Choo (Umgeni Steam Railway) train in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa offers a fun and exciting excursion for the whole family. The steam train made us feel like we  travelled back to the 1800’s. Steam locomotives played a huge roll in South African history connecting people and major cities during this time.

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The Umgeni Steam Railway is run by a non-profit organisation and a group of individuals have taken this sentiment to heart and are committed to preserving this beautiful heritage of railways in South Africa.

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Ticket Collection

We arrived at Stokers Arms just after 8:00am to collect our boarding passes. Book and pay online to avoid disappointment when booking your seat. The train departs Kloof station (Stokers Arms) at 8.30am sharp on the last Sunday of every month with special extended times during the holidays. Morning trains offer a 3 hour excursion while afternoon trains are 3.5 hour excursions round trip unless otherwise stated on their website.

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Off to Inchanga we go!

We boarded our steam train “Wesley” and couldn’t wait to start our journey. The train announced its departure with a loud “Choo Choo” and we watched the burst of excitement between kids and adults alike as the train started moving.

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From Kloof station, the train traveled all along the Valley of 1000 hills, right through to Inchanga station. The journey to the station takes about 45 min.  The scenic views of lush green vegetation and rolling hills were breath taking!

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The friendly conductors come around to collect our tickets, answer questions and tell us a few facts about the train. Volunteers of the railway came around selling wind spinners to entertain the kiddies along the way. Refreshments and snacks were also available to purchase at the back of the train during the ride.

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Stopping at Inchanga station

 Inchanga station which is a colonial station built in 1895 and is one of the oldest active railway lines in South Africa today. When we arrived we instantly felt the buzz of the craft market with food, trickets, clothes and other gadgets on sale.  We had about an hour at the stop to walk through the stalls, have a picnic, snap a few close ups with Wesley, check out the model trian sets and visit one of the railway landmarks.

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While exploring the Inchanga station we had some time to talk to some of the volunteers of the Umgeni Steam Railway. It was great to learn more about the history and ask questions about general train works.

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Inchanga Railway museum

The Inchanga railway museum is housed in the old Stationmaster’s home, a quaint little house on the hill above the Inchanga railway station. The Stationmaster’s house now houses the Inchanga railway museum and it is used to show case some of the historical gems and interesting items from the era of the Stream Train.

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Model Trains

There is a room filled with model trains to every kids delight at the Inchanga station. The mini trains are beautifully displayed driving along the tracks on a small scale of country landscapes, they really are pieces of art!

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Wesley the steam locomotive

Our steam train, Wesley (Class 19D no. 2685) is the regular train used for the Kloof Inchanga run. He was built by Borsig Locomotive Company of Berlin, Germany in 1938. Coaches on the train were built between 1928 and 1952.

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As you can see this beautiful piece of history is neatly kept and well maintained… inside out! We would love to know how many people have traveled on the train. I’m sure if Wesley could talk, he would certainly entertain us with incredible stories of his travels through the years

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The journey back to Kloof station

We enjoyed a few delicious snacks from the food stalls and shopped for a few goodies to take back home. As Wesley signaled his horn “Choo Choo”we waved goodbye to by standers and enjoyed the relaxing journey back home, admiring the beautiful views.

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This was a fantastic way spend our Sunday morning we highly recommend Umgeni Steam Railway for the whole family! The views, the adventure and all the cool discoveries along the way adds an incredible vibe to the journey.

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Book the Umgeni Steam Train

If you looking for a fun excursion out with the family or even a relaxed afternoon with a loved one, then you can complete a train booking form here.

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Have you ever been on the Umgeni Steam Railway? What is the best train ride that you have been on? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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The Inchanga Choo Choo (Umgeni Steam Railway) train offers a fun and exciting excursion through the Valley of a 1000 Hills, perfect for the whole family. Morning trains offer a 3 hour excursion while afternoon trains are 3.5 hour excursions round trip. Read more about our adventure here. #travel #umgenisteam #train #southafrica

* Thank you Umgeni Steam Railway for hosting us. Although we try to ensure that all information provided is as accurate and correct, we cannot be held liable for any errors. All opinions are our own.  Images may be used around the web as long as you credit us and link back to our website souldrifters.com. Images may not be used for advertising and commercial purposes. You are welcome to contact us for rates and terms for commercial rights.

 

 

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Liza Williams

Born in South Africa, fascinated with culture and loves wood fire pizza. “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away” Follow me on twitter: @soul_drifters

13 thoughts on “All Aboard the Umgeni Steam Railway train to Inchanga!

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  • January 29, 2018 at 5:43 pm
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    What a stunning article with awesome photos. Good to meet up with a fellow S.African too! I’m in P.E. where you may have heard they have just brought the Apple Express (also a steam train – on a narrow gauge) out of retirement. It started running before Christmas and we’re still trying to get a ticket to go on the trip, it is so overbooked! It is a short distance but I believe they’re working on making it longer. Thanks for sharing! #Thankful_Thursday

    Reply
  • January 20, 2018 at 12:58 pm
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    I would have never associated South Africa with train rides! I actually briefly saw the picture looking out to the landscape and thought it was India for a second haha. How long did the train last?

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  • January 20, 2018 at 10:30 am
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    There is something exciting about travelling in an old fashioned, slower way like a steam train isn’t there? Sadly in Ireland, there are not that many journeys that can be done and most are booked months in advance. There is clearly a demand for these types of thing. The scenery looking out your window looked great!

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  • January 18, 2018 at 9:55 pm
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    This is so cool! A steam engine ride is not something I would have pictured for South Africa but this looks awesome. Thanks for sharing!

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  • January 18, 2018 at 7:21 pm
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    I love a heritage railway and those views look beautiful as well! Wesley is very handsome. My kids would love to take this trip – bucket listed!

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  • January 17, 2018 at 4:59 pm
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    Wow! This seems like an awesome experience. I love traveling by train and your pictures are truly motivating, Lisa and Liza!

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  • January 17, 2018 at 4:57 pm
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    What a beautiful way to step back in time and move forward through stunning scenery at the same time. I love train travel and I wish we had more experience to do so affordably here in Canada, and I can appreciate the fact that this one is non-profit because that means t is all done with passion and heart. This looks like a day trip that my kids would love, and I would absolutely book this when we get a chance to visit South Africa!

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  • January 17, 2018 at 9:51 am
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    That’s a fabulous trip with the handsome Wesley! We have a volunteer run steam railway near us, and it’s such a magical sound to hear the distant chuffing of the engine as it gets ready for the journey. There’s something really special about a train trip: the views, the whole anticipation of adventures, and the sense of history about the routes, especially when you are lucky enough to travel in the old carriages.

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  • January 17, 2018 at 7:46 am
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    How long is the ride for ? I had been to couple of the steam engine rides in Australia and loved it ( puffing billy! )
    One of my friends though found it a bit boring as you are just in the train for a long period! I particularly like the smell of steam , so no complaints!

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  • January 15, 2018 at 1:13 am
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    O wow! This looks like so much fun. I would love to ride on this and learn about all the history 🙂 The volunteers look so friendly too!

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  • January 15, 2018 at 12:38 am
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    Amazing pictures! I took a train from California to Colorado and loved all the views along the way- this looks like a pretty similar experience with a little more history to it. I would love to go one day.

    Reply

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