We discovered this ‘secret railway line’ yesterday during our daily walk and this morning we followed the same route, taking a camera. In reality, the line is no secret; train services have been out of action for little more than two months now and the tracks were not serviced during this time.
Unexpected storms and heavy rains caused huge damages to the railway lines, hence all transport services were suspended. These days the train is only used for the transport of stone and gravel from the quarry and crusher plant a few kilometers further down the coast. For this period that the train has been out of action, all materials have been transported via road.
We have since been informed by persons in the know, that this time the tracks will not be re-opened. Instead, a new railway line is being laid deeper into the interior, to service the rural areas as well. The old tracks will be removed and the land sold off for development.
Since we moved to this area in April this year, we have explored a huge area around our town and beach and we do hike along the railway tracks for short stretches from time to time, especially when the rivers are spilling their water into the ocean after heavy rains. We noticed that the tracks were getting a little rusty, but thought nothing of it. The line has been laid parallel with and very close to the coastline, and rust is a common problem here.
Yesterday, we decided to follow the tracks to the neighboring coastal town, to visit their beach. Hiking along the tracks is a shortcut and therefore a faster route. To our surprise, we soon noticed that the coastal growth has made excellent progress in its quest to cover the tracks, over the past two months. Mother Nature has made great strides in reclaiming the land that has been abandoned. We had to abandon our endeavor to walk to the next town and followed a bush path down to the beach to return home.
Below are some of the pictures we captured this morning.