Building of Delagoa Bay railway line is completed

Saturday, 20 October 1894

The building of the Delagoa Bay railway line to Pretoria was completed on this date. It was scheduled to be opened for traffic on 2 November 1894, however, the official opening of the line only took place on 8 July 1895. The line was completed a few years after the end of the first Anglo-Boer War (also called Anglo-Transvaal War) and the restoration of the Transvaal Republic after annexation by Britain in 1877. This rail link between Transvaal en Delagoa Bay was one of the most important purposes of both President Burgers and Kruger, because it would make the republic independent of the harbours of the British Colonies, Natal and Cape. After discovery of the main gold reef on the Rand in 1886, the matter gained even greater urgency. On completion of the railway line, transport became safer, quicker and more profitable. Formerly, transport-riders used ox wagons to transport goods by road to Delagoa Bay and ran the risk of malaria, tsetse flies and lions. 

• Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau; ---, (2005). Pretoria 1855-2005: Chronologie 1798-1935', Bylaag tot Rekord.
Muller, C.F.J. (ed)(1981). Five Hundred years: a history of South Africa; 3rd rev. ed., Pretoria: Academica, p. 282.