Today in history: SA's first steam train officially opened in Durban

Today in history: SA's first steam train officially opened in Durban

- South Africa's first ever steam train was launched on 26 June, 1860

- It started off at Market Square in Durban

- It played a major role in the development of Durban

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On 26 June, 1860, South Africa's first ever steam locomotive and train was launched at Market Square in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

According to grahamlesliemccallum.wordpress.com, this historic train travelled to the Point Railway Station. Later on, the railway track was lengthened and branched off to other areas.

The train and railway tracks played a major role in the development of Durban as South Africans know it today, Briefly.co.za learned.

A historic image of the railway yard at Durban Railway Station. Source: grahamlesliemccallum.wordpress.com

A historic image of the railway yard at Durban Railway Station. Source: grahamlesliemccallum.wordpress.com

The train carried several dignitaries on its maiden journey, including the acting Lieutenant-Governor, Major Williamson, and directors of the then Natal Railway Company.

Market Square Station was later renamed Durban Station. The distance between it and the Point Railway Station was an estimated 3.2 kilometres.

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An image of the steam train. Source: grahamlesliemccallum.wordpress.com

An image of the steam train. Source: grahamlesliemccallum.wordpress.com

1860 is also the year the first Indian workers arrived in Natal to work in the local sugar industry.

In addition, it's the year the first telegraph service began operating in the country. It connected Simonstown and Cape Town.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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