Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Outeniqua Choo Tjoe train
The text on the back of the card tells us that "the Outeniqua steam train wends its way through picturesque scenery between George and Knysna providing young and old with a leisurely view of magnificent scenery".
The card was sent in 2003. Sadly, the train seems to be no longer in service. Floods in 2006 damaged the line and although an alternative route was set up and the train rescheduled, in 2007 the owners, Transnet tried to sell the train. But there were no takers. In 2010, it stopped running altogether.
A non-profit organisation has been set up to restore the line and start the train running again. There are many restored steam trains in the UK running successfully. The Watercress Line in Hampshire is one I know of and for some of their "special" trips you had to book well in advance. I hope this one in South Africa will have similar success and attract steam train enthusiasts and tourists from near and far.
I really have no idea how the name is pronounced but I fancy Choo Tjoe will be "choo choo" or very similar. I await enlightenment.