12:03 in Magazine - article by stationmaster
- Opened 50 years ago; the longest in South Africa until 1989
by Bruno Martin
In the years following the end of the Second World War, extensive track duplication and grade-easing works on South Africa’s main railway lines were carried out on a grand scale in order to cope with the burgeoning volume of traffic. The biggest and most expensive project at the time was the reconstruction and doubling of the Natal main-line between Boughton (Pietermaritzburg) and Umbulwana (Ladysmith). The alignment diversions entailed civil engineering works of considerable magnitude and culminated with the opening of the Cedara twin tunnels towards the end of March 1960. These remained the longest on the South African rail network until relegated to second place in March 1989 by Tunnel 4 (Hexton)* on the Hex River Pass deviation between De Doorns and Kleinstraat in the Western Cape Province.