The last train


DRAPED WITH THE FLAG: The last train from Port Alfred in 1986 was a special but sad event

Serendipity with Bev Young

I SO remember reading that the last train from Port Alfred would be taking its final journey in 1986.

How I regret missing that event. The concept of a passenger train, one so significant and enticing, closing down forever, seemed unbelievable.

The troubled Kowie Railway Company never ran at a profit in its 30 years of trade. South African Railways took over the business in February 1913. But they too could barely sustain the costs of line repairs and competition from road transport.

Closure was the only fiscal solution that made any business sense. At least we still have the station.

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