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Subsequent to a donation on the 16th September 1982, by llovo Sugar Mill, of a small standard gauge shunting locomotive, a group of enthusiasts from the Natal branch of the Railway Society of Southern Africa formed Umgeni Steam Railway, located near Durban, South Africa. Since then, other locomotives and coaching stock have been donated by the old South African Railways (SAR) or have been purchased from scrap yards or other bodies.

The first public run took place in early 1984, with a total of 80 passengers for the day, from the old New Germany Power Station. Today, over 25-years after its foundation, Umgeni Steam Railway is still run by volunteers.

Illovo donation 1982

Trains run from Kloof Station (Stokers Arms) to and from Inchanga Station, on the last Sunday of each month along the edge of the picturesque Valley of a 1000 Hills. Inchanga is a colonial station (built in 1895) & is 45 minutes ride away along the old main line. The line was built in the late 1800`s and is one of the oldest active railway lines in South Africa today.

Inchanga Station one will find the popular Inchanga Station Craft Market where many hand crafted items can be found. Numerous food outlets help to satisfy the weary traveller.

One can also join the train for the 10:30 departure from
Inchanga for Kloof where one can sit down to fine pub fare and an ice cold beer at the Stokers Arms Station Restaurant, and still be in time for the 12:30 train returning to Inchanga.

We are registered as a Section-21 non-profit making organisation our surplus funds are used for the preservation of steam locomotives & "railwayana" in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Illovo donation

This article from the Daily News newspaper May 18th 1987 reads:


Umgeni Steam Railway recently acquired a 1903 steam locomotive, one of only two in the country still in working order. The engine, a Class 8 built in 1903, was donated by Saiccor, which until recently had it working in its yards.  Umgeni Steam Railway, a society for the preservation of steam locomotives [registered as a section-21 company], will restore the engine and make it part of its "living museum".  The society runs trips for the public every first Sunday of the month [now last Sunday] from its New Germany power station depot [new depot is now Kloof Station].  Here Norman Boulter, works director at Saiccor, is handing over the engine to Colin Healey, chairman of Umgeni Steam Railway.

Illovo donation text

The Railway Society of Southern Africa (RSSA Natal Branch), to which Umgeni Steam Railway is affiliated, has a monthly evening meeting on the third Wednesday of each month at the Durban Society of Model Engineers, Kellaway Park, Hinton Grove, Virginia. Guests are welcome to attend and to join in on some interesting and lively meetings. There are other interest groups such as Narrow Gauge Preservation, Model Railway Group, Railway History Society etc.

We celebrated our 21st birthday at Inchanga Station on the 16th September 2002

21st Celebration

Dubs NGR No.88(Photograph courtesy of Tony Leeson of Pineville Craft Village Halt, midway between Sarnia Station and the Umgeni Power Station at New Germany)

Dübs A No. 134 (NGR No. 88) "Umbilo"

Built in Glasgow, Scotland in 1892 and then shipped to Pinetown, South Africa

Then, circa 1980's from Sarnia to New Germany, 1990's to Pinetown Yard and now, Inchanga Yard (2008)


Dubs NGR No.88
USR Group

Pictured here on coach 500 at Inchanga Station are
(L to R):

Bob Oosthuzen, Andy Anderson (window), driver George Greeff, Wesley Wigzel (late), Robbie  Macgregor (doorway), Rina Greeff & Derick Norton (Snr) (standing), Marc Bouchier (sitting), fireman  Simon Anderson and Ashley Peter.

This site is protected by copyright and any unauthorised copying of photographs or articles is prohibited by law unless by prior arrangement with Umgeni Steam Railway registered as a Section-21 Non-Profit making organisation (1994/05381/08)