South African Railways' Ladismith Branch

The Ladismith Branch of South African Railways ran between the inland towns of Touws River and Ladismith. (Right of way)

"Ladismith - May 1962 - photo courtesy the photographer © CP Lewis - The resting Class 7 No 987 looks towards the goods shed and station buildings of Ladismith station." (Via Steam Locomotives South Africa)

Nicknamed the Makkadas line (pronounced: MACK-uh-DASS), it began operations in 1925 after two years of construction.

"Plathuis had a shop and old-fashioned petrol bowsers. It is situated in the shadow of the Anysberg, a sort of continuation of the Swartberg, not so high but even wilder.  No 984 was departing with the eastbound Makadas in 8/1970." (Via Soulo Railway)

The line served three trains per week in each direction, and was the only form of transportation before the road network was built through the area.

The first of a 3-part video series on the train is shown on a YouTube video below: 

In 1981, much of the 88 mile line was destroyed in the Laingsburg floods, which killed hundreds of people in addition to wreaking havoc on the infrastructure of the nearby area, and has not been rebuilt.

Thanks as always for reading!


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