The Grants' African adventure

Photo blog – the train trip

This was always going to be one of the bigger “adventures” of the trip. A lot of locals advised us against it, and we knew it was going to fall far short of palatial. But a night in an African sleeper train was too good to pass up.

Several of these photos are for the benefit of my Dad who used to work in the railway workshops, quite possibly on the very carriage we were on. I’m sure he’ll be pleased these things are still going strong!

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Elijah gets set for the night.

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Tim checks out the toilet

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This sign unchanged since Andrew last went in the train in 1981.

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This window unchanged (and possibly not cleaned) since before 1980.

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Rounding a bend on the approach to Bulawayo.

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Few of the carriage doors can close anymore.

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The joins between carriages opening up and gaping.

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Inside a compartment.

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6 responses

  1. Sheila Grant

    DAD IS AT THE DENTIST BUT WILL ENJOY THESE (I H OPE!). SAD TO SEE IT SO RUN DOWN, GEE, WE HAD FUN IN THAT TRAIN. PERHAPS BETTER TO JUST KEEP THE MEMORIES OF “OUR DAY”J

    June 21, 2012 at 9:05 am

  2. The Inalds

    One more experience you will all never forget! Bet you wouldn’t trade it though : )

    June 21, 2012 at 9:51 am

  3. Grandpa

    Thanks for all these Andrew, certainly does bring back many memories but judging by the compartments I would say these are more like the 1970’s style. In the 50’s everything was wood I don’t think Laminex had been invented yet. Certainly hope the family enjoyed the trip. Now off on
    your tour de nostalgia as you show off your childhood stomping ground to the rest of the family.

    June 21, 2012 at 9:54 am

    • Hey Dad. The running plate said construction was 1952. Maybe they were refurbed in the 70s or 80s? The track is so bad and wheels so ground down they have to do 5kph for long stretches, particularly coming into Bulawayo. That’s why 400km took 14 hours. but 5kph was a lot less stressful than when we were at top speed between the Falls and Hwange. The carriages were rocking and rolling everywhere! I think they had a bad de-railment on that section a few years ago?

      June 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm

  4. The train looks like the one we caught in Spain – maybe from the same building place.It looks like fun though and hope you all slept well. What’s the weather like – it’s freezing here but still OK for cycling. Lotsa luv XXX

    June 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm

  5. Ragsie

    While the Grants waited to get into Bulawayo, the ex Grant sister tried to make sense of the information board that said the train was coming in at 9am to platform 2. Platform 2 had a train parked there and when I went to info to find out where to wait, I had to tell them it was already occupied. ‘ aarrrr, is all right. It will come to platform one….it did 1 hour later! I smelt the hummmm from the toilets before I even got close to it….. Well they all seemed happy and that was the main thing. Pity Anne is still trying to get used to no seat belts

    June 22, 2012 at 4:23 am

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