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Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Cape Colony To-Day


Cape Colony To-Day by A.R.E.Burton (author of ‘Cape Colony for the Settler‘)- 1907
Part One
The book gives an account of travelling mainly by train in the Cape Colony and what one would expect to experience. The book was written and compiled ‘under authority of The Cape Government Railway Department. Giving an account of 10 tours around the Cape Colony. For this blog I’ve taken extracts from the tours that give reference to the two ‘two foot’ gauge railways with in the Cape Colony, Tour No 3 and Tour No.4, both chapters are precede by maps showing the route of the branch lines.




Messrs.Thomas Cook & Son get a mention as the recommended travel agent one should use should one be planning a trip to the Cape Colony, from arranging ones passage by steamboat, for hotel accommodation, to acquiring a 3 month travel ticket from the Cape Government Railways.

A ticket with the Union Castle Line from Southampton ,leaving on Saturdays would take 16 to 17 days with a first class ticket setting you back £39.18.0

There are over 200 small black and white photos depicting scenes around the Colony.

Tour No 3

I pick up from the connection to the Hopefield Railway/Branch.



Mr. Burton writes ‘From Belleville Station we proceeded to Kalabas Kraal, where we changed from broad to narrow gauge line:-
Hopefield , a comfortable little place close to the great Berg River. The farmer (some of whom met us at the station) are apparently a well-to-do class, thriving on their live stock and produce of the soil, especially wheat, the staple produce of the district.’

‘Saldana Bay we took post cart to Hoetjies, that part of Saldanha Bay that affords the best anchorage and protection for vessels in bad weather.’

Mr. Burton in the chapter makes note of the stats of Darling a village along the line and the journey time by post cart from Hopefield to Hoetjies Bay

‘Darling Village,23 miles W.N.W. of Malmesbury and 9 miles N.W.of Hermon Station which is 60 miles from Cape Town. P.O.,T.O. and M.O. Hotel and Churches, Court House ,Post cart to Hermon two Hours. Population: White 790, Coloures 358

Post cart from Hoetjies Bay to Hopefield 45miles N.W. eight Hours.’


At the back of the book Mr. Burton make reference to the news lines authorized.
New Lines-The following new lines were authorized by Parliament in 1906:-

Hopefield to Hoetjies Bay( Saldanha Bay)……… Miles 40.…….£87 640