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NZASM Barberton Branch Line
Barberton district, Mpumalanga

People:

NZASM: Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij: Architect


Date:1892-1896
Client:NZASM
Type:Railway Line
Style:Industrial Archeology
Status:Extant

The Kaap goldfields in the district of Barberton had been established in 1884.

When the alignment of the NZASM Eastern Line was taken directly to Kaapmuiden there was local political agitation to have Barberton connected by rail. Surveys undertaken by the NZASM had indentified the difficult terrain and subsequent high cost of the line, so there was no enthusiasm for the venture. Local entrepreneurs Lewis and Marks with Frank Watkins crated a syndicate to construct the line, and to this end contracted PETTEGREW & CO. The same difficulties that beset the building of the Eastern Line in the Lowveld prevailed - difficult terrain, malaria and tsetse fly, in this case exacerbated by heavy rains and flooding in 1895, which damaged the two Kaap River bridges, then still under construction. The contractors floundered, and the Watkins Syndicate terminated the contract and dissolved the syndicate. The NZASM had no recourse but to take over the construction, which was completed in 1896.

Structures found along this line (from Kaap Muiden to Barberton) are:

 Bridge north of Greenstone Station 1
 Bridge north of Greenstone Station 2
 Bridge south of Greenstone Station
 Culvert north of Tonetti Station
 Bridge south west of Revolver Creek Station
 Bridge over Louw's Creek
 Bridge over the Sheba River
 Bridge over the Kaap River at Avoca
 Bridge over the Kaap River (Joe's Luck Bridge)
 Small culvert at Noordkaap Junction
 Bridge south of Noordkaap Junction
 Hospital at Caledonian Station
 Building south of Caledonian Station
 Large arched culvert at Fairfield Mine turn off
 Bridge south west of Caledonian station
 Bridge north of Barberton
 House, Kruger Street, Barberton
 House, Joubert Street, Barberton
 House ruin, Nourse Street, Barberton


Writings about this entry

Anonymous [Nederlansche Zuid-Afrikaanse Spoorwegmaatschappij. [c.1909]. In Memoriam N.Z.A.S.M. Amsterdam: JH De Bussy. pg 17, 34-37
Bornman, Hans. 2006. Pioneers of the Lowveld. Barberton: SA Country Life. pg 44-45
De Jong, RC, Van der Waal, GM & Heydenrych, DH. 1988. NZASM 100 : 1887-1899, the buildings, steam engines and structures of the Netherlands South African Railway Company. Pretoria: C. Van Rensburg Publications on behalf of the Human Sciences Research Council. pg 212 ill, 215-221

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