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Crossing river into Wilderness
Train with Diesel locomotive No 32042 from Transnet
The Outeniqua Choo Tjoe was the last remaining continually-operated passenger steam train in Africa, ending operation in June 2009. The railway was completed in 1928, and links the towns of Georgemarker and Knysnamarker in the Western Cape, South Africa. The 3 hour journey also stops in the towns of Wildernessmarker, Goukamma, and Sedgefieldmarker. The scenic route hugs the rugged coastline of the Garden Route before ending by crossing a bridge over the lagoon in Knysnamarker.

It was declared an officially preserved railway in 1992, carrying about 40,000 passengers per year at the time. A decade later, it carried 115,000 passengers per year, 70% of whom were foreign tourists.

The trains are usually pulled by Class 19D steam locomotives, of 4-8-2 wheel arrangement with Vanderbilt-like "torpedo" tenders, although the task is occasionally handled by Class 24 steam engines. When dry conditions in the summer increase the risk of wildfires, diesel locomotives (Class 32s) are used instead.

Unfortunately, due to recent heavy flooding in the area, the line has been damaged. It has been rescheduled to run between George and Mossel Bay (with a stop at Hartenbos)until further notice.

In 2008, the train and the Kaaiman's River Bridge were featured in a television advertisement for Stella Artois.


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