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Help keep rail enthusiasts on track

The Umgeni Railway Station is urging the community for support as they continue to rebuild their lines.

THE Umgeni Railway Station (URS) is still on the mission of rebuilding since the damage caused by the 2022 floods. The URS is a non-profit organisation that is run entirely by volunteers and relies on running vintage passenger trains from Kloof to Inchanga and donations for the maintenance and upkeep of the locomotives, coaches, railway line and infrastructure.

Having suffered from the Covid-19 pandemic and the floods, the station is continuously making plans to return to full operations and routes.

Also read: Umgeni Steam Railway shares restoration plans

“We were unable to operate during the hard lockdown due to Covid-19, and when we were able to operate, we could only run at 70% capacity, which impacted our turnover.

“From April 8 to 12 in 2022, Durban and its surrounds had more than 500mm of rain. This caused devastation, and unfortunately, our railway line also suffered. There are many places where landslides have occurred and sinkholes have developed, and the foundation under the railway line was washed away, leaving the line hanging in the air. We have had to cancel many fully booked trains which means we are unable to generate funds to repair our railway line,” stated the organisation.

The organisation said they had estimated approximately R1 million to rebuild and are appealing for donations.

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“We are unable to fund the repairs alone, and we are appealing for any donations, either monetary or of materials and machinery, to assist us with the repairs. This will enable the oldest volunteer-run heritage organisation in South Africa to operate and continue providing fun-filled family memories,” stated the organisation.

To help raise funds, the organisation will be having train rides which will be R70 each on June 29 and 30, with trains departing every hour from 09:00 to 15:00. There will also be a market, and The Inchanga Railway Museum will be open for tours.

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