I have just put down an absorbing book set at the end of the 19th Century in South Africa's Kysna and Long Kloof areas.
Fiela's Child (New Longman Literature)
I was keen to find out more of the region and I came accross the Langkloof railway that links the fruit growing areas to Port Elizabeth 285 km away to the East. Note, there is nothing about the trains in the book. The line was built about 20 after the story told in the book.
Here is some more info about the line:
At 285 kilometres this is the longest 2ft gauge railway in the world. Constructed between 1899 and 1906, it was built to connect the Langkloof fruit growing industry with the port at Port Elizabeth.
Traffic was general freight, fruit in season and passengers. Scheduled passenger trains were discontinued in the 1940s although limited accommodation was offered on freight workings until the mid-1970's.
Known as the Adventure Line, it is home to the highest narrow gauge railway bridge in the World at Van Staaden's Gorge (below).
Best known for its tourist train, the Apple Express, which has operated since 1965 between Port Elizabeth and Laurie, and morerecently as far as Thornhill or Van Stadens.
As a line scheduled as "low density" by Spoornet, it has always had the threat of closure hanging over it. The Avontuur Adventurer was part of a process to secure the line for years to come both economically and as a tourist attraction.
For the full Port Elizabeth to Avontuur Map complete with elevations, distances, dates etc click on the map below:
Port Elizabeth to Avontuur Map - Bruno Martin. 211kbs