Mighty Tzaneen One Of The Most Beautiful Rail Lines In South Africa

Rare Footage of Steam Power In Regular Transvaal Service

When it comes to steam action, I was so excited when I discovered Tzaneen. This is in the northern part of South Africa, not far from the Zimbabwe border.

Back in 1975, we had just escaped our ordeal in Mozambique and had a car which was falling apart. But we were on a mission, to get as many steam train photos as possible and while ever the car would keep going, we would keep clicking our cameras!


Magnificent is the only way to describe this scenery!

We had heard that Tzaneen was 100% steam action, and it was not far out of our way, so we made the detour. We are very glad we did.

There were two main types of motive power on this line. Huge 15F’s hauled the passengers and many of the freight trains, supplemented by 19Ds.

Quite a few were double headers. I kind of liked the section which passed a lake.


I found a video on youtube with some footage from that time. Worth a look.

Part way through you will see the lake!

Please feel welcome to give your opinion on this line.


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