Railway line between Cape Town and Beira in Mozambique is completed

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A train leaving Sea Point stationA train leaving Sea Point station. Source: : http://www.flickr.com/photos/hilton

Monday, 6 October 1902

On 6 October 1902 the 3200km long railway line between Cape Town, South Africa and Beira in Mozambique was completed. The construction of the Beira Railway to Umtali was completed in February 1989, just before the South African War(Anglo-Boer War II, 1899-1902). On 16 February 1898, the first regular freight service began. After its completion to Umtali, the Beira Railway was leased for operation to Pauling & Co., its constructors. The construction of the line had covered 222 miles between Beira and Umtali.

 Amid the War, the combined 2ft and 3ft 6in gauge system was utilised to move Carrington's force into the Highveld. The military force was made up of 5 000 men, 10,000 horses, and 14,000 tons of military stores, guns and ammunition. The collective British, Canadian, and Australian force, led by General Carrington, was bound for Marandellas to bring the war to the Transvaal region of South Africa.

References:
• Strack D. (1984). ‘RAILROADS OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA’ from UtahRails.Net [online]. Available at www.utahrails.net [Accessed 29 August 2011]

Last updated : 27-Sep-2013

This article was produced for South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011