Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Mafushwa
S 17° 55.769 E 025° 50.478
35K E 377281 N 8017234
Quick Description: Victoria Falls railway station 5°50'28.68"E
Location: Zimbabwe
Date Posted: 1/8/2015 6:54:03 AM
Waymark Code: WMN71J
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 4

Long Description:
The Victoria Falls railway line was originally constructed as part of the Cape to Cairo railway line that was envisioned by Cecil John Rhodes.

The idea was to link all the colonies that belonged to the British Empire by rail starting from Cape Town and leading to Cairo.
Due to two world wars, other conflicts and geography this was never achieved.
By the end of 1902 the rail line from the Cape to Bulawayo had been open for 5 years, the line from Harare to Beira in Mozambique was open and the two cities of Harare and Bulawayo were linked.
Large coal deposits were discovered in Hwange in 1893, sufficient to last up to 100 years. The deposits were only located 320km from the city of Bulawayo, this was enough to convince the engineers that the route should pass through then Wankie, now Hwange, and then continue on to Victoria Falls, cross the Zambezi and then head upwards into the copper mines in North West Rhodesia.

Construction of the rail started in 1901 from Bulawayo to Wankie, by 1903 the line had opened as far as Mambanje. Anyone wishing to travel to the Victoria Falls then had to complete the trip on horseback.
By late 1903 the Line had reached Wankie where passengers were then placed on a Zeederberg coach service for the remaining 100 km to Victoria Falls.

A bridge was needed to cross the Zambezi gorge. The railway company quickly dispatched materials for the construction of a temporary hotel, the initial purpose of which was also to provide accommodation for the engineers working on the construction of the bridge. They quickly erected a wood and iron building, raised from ground level to allow ventilation and freedom from pests and dampness.

The building opened in 1904 and was named The Victoria Falls Hotel. The rail line originally ran at the front of the hotel but was later moved to run behind it. The hotel still stands on the same grounds today.
The official opening ceremony for the Victoria Falls Bridge took place on 12 September 1905. Rhodes is recorded as instructing the engineers to "build the bridge across the Zambezi where the trains, as they pass, will catch the spray of the Falls" It was designed by George Anthony Hobson of consultants Sir Douglas Fox and Partners, not as is often stated, Sir Ralph Freeman, the same engineer who contributed to the design of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. At the time of the design of the Victoria Falls Bridge, Freeman was an assistant in the firm who, in those pre-computer days, was calculating stresses.
The line in Zimbabwe is now run by NRZ (National Railways of Zimbabwe)
Is the station/depot currently used for railroad purposes?: Yes

Is the station/depot open to the public?: Yes

What rail lines does/did the station/depot serve?: At Victoria Falls the system links to the Zambia Railways, crossing the Victoria Falls Bridge. It also links to the City of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city.

If the station/depot is not being used for railroad purposes, what is it currently used for?: Not listed

Station/Depot Web Site: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please post an original picture of the station/depot taken while you were there. Please also record how you came to be at this station/depot and any interesting information you learned about it while there.
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Date Logged Log User Rating  
Marvince visited Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe 4/10/2017 Marvince visited it