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 traveled back to the 1800’s. Steam locomotives played a huge roll in South African history connecting people and major cities during this time.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
MODEL TRAINS DISPLAY
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!
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.
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
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.
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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BOOKING THE UMGENI STEAM RAILWAY
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.
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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