GARRETT TO VICTORIA FALLS
Strictly speaking this page should not be on the site but it does compliment the other pages on genuine working steam in Zimbabwe
and the motive power was a working locomotive used for the occasion rather than an engine used exclusively for tourists operations.

In 1999 the 'Train De Luxe' operated a weekly service from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls and return with an overnight stop at Dett to allow
travellers to visit the Hwange National Park.  As we wanted to spend some time at Wankie Colliery (
see separate page) we decided to
catch the train before and after Dett and then on its way to Victoria Falls rather than chasing it all the way from Bulawayo.  This plan
worked out well and below are a selection of shots on the Bulawayo - Victoria Falls main line together with the steam operation
actually at Victoria Falls.

The steam train onto the Victoria Falls Bridge still appears to be operational but there is no regular steam between Bulawayo and
Victoria Falls.
The idea of a passenger train on
the main line was very appealing
and certainly recaptured a bygone
era.  Unfortunately the coaches
were not in Rhodesian Railways
livery but nevertheless No.421 and
train looked splendid in the
African bush
No.421 is serviced at Dett having
arrived from Bulawayo.  The coal
loading plant was still maintained
in working order - presumably just
for this service.  Note the
additional water bowsers behind
the engine.
Having stayed overnight in Hwange
we went to Thompson Junction and
waited in the signal box until we
were sure the train was on its way
from Dett before heading to 404
Curve.  This is the spot where
No.404 (later No.424) overturned
and the crew killed.  The
numberplate from 404 was
originally mounted on two sleepers
at the spot where the accident
occured but disgracefully it was
later stolen
Class 15A No.406 at Thompson
Junction with the 'Train De Luxe'
A personal favourite - No.406 just
beyond Deka Bridge between
Thompson Junction and Victoria
Falls
I'm not sure that high speed
chases down roads like the one on
the left of the picture would have
greatly impressed the car rental
company but it did get us another
shot of No.406 at Deka Sidings
Prior to going to Zimbabwe we
were given a great deal of help and
advice from fellow enthusiasts
together with lists and maps of the
best photographic positions.  One
of the top recommendations was
Zanguja Bank - but on arrival we
found newly erected fences for a
game reserve and a locked access
gate.  After pleading with the local
landowner we were granted
reluctant permission to visit the
spot but shortly afterwards new
signs appeared suggesting our
visit might be the last!
Journey's end for No.406 as it
stands in the platform at Victoria
Falls station.  For reasons not
totally clear the locomotive could
not be serviced here and
eventually had to return to
Thompson Junction to take on
more coal.  The return journey was
eventually cancelled due to lack of
passengers.
In the yard at Victoria Falls was
North British built 4-8-2 12th Class
No.204.  Now bearing the ZR of
Zambia Railways this engine was
originally part of Rhodesian
Railways but is now owned by the
Livingstone Railway Museum and is
one of four operable memebers of
the class.  At Vic Falls its job is to
haul tourist trains across the
bridge.
Pure tourist traffic - Class 14A No.512
stands on Victoria Falls Bridge with
the afternoon tourist train from
Livingstone to Victoria Falls
Bulawayo Shed
Bulawayo District
Wankie Colliery (Hwange)
Steam In China
Personal trip reports
Cuban steam
Steam In Java
German Narrow Gauge
Polish steam