n Civil Engineering = Siviele Ingenieurswese - Construction of the Prieska-Kalkfontein railway line 1914-15
Part 3 : the final dash to Kalkfontein : history

Volume 23, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 1021-2000



One hundred years ago South Africa, as part of the British Empire, was at war with Germany. The first objective of the Union Defence Force was to take control of German South-West Africa (GSWA, today Namibia). A part of this offensive was to bridge the gap between the two national railway systems, from Prieska in South Africa to Kalkfontein (today Karasburg) in GSWA. This was a daunting challenge delegated to a newly formed South African Railways (SAR) and was executed successfully under trying conditions. This article (the final in the three part series) describes the construction of the rail link between Upington and Kalkfontein. After bridging the Orange River at Upington (see Part 2), the laying of track through an arid, barren Kalahari encountered similar, equally serious problems as the initial rail section from Prieska to Upington (see Part 1). (Parts 1 and 2 of this series appeared in the March and May 2015 editions of .)

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