It is planned that the world-renowned narrow gauge Apple Express heritage train will resume service during 2013, with start up plans including the reintroduction of day trips initially.
After many setbacks, not least the torrential rains of October 2012, plans to have the Apple Express back on track are starting to come together.
The agreement to lease workshop and admin space at the Transnet Humerail Diesel Depot is being finalised with Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) Property Management.
The conclusion of this lease means that the Apple Express technical crew will be on site shortly, with repairs to and the restoration of the carriages due to commence. However we are still short of funds for the restoration of the carriages and your donations would be gratefully received. Please click on the link above should you wish to donate and please do visit our website regularly for updates.
With regard to the repairs to and maintenance of the permanent way, TFR has indicated that a contract to evaluate the Van Stadens Railway Bridge maintenance will be awarded shortly, with an inspection of the line to ascertain repairs and maintenance needs scheduled to be undertaken shortly.
The newly-formed Apple Express Volunteers (AEV) is a group for steam enthusiasts, from Port Elizabeth and its surrounds, who want to be involved in the operation of the iconic narrow gauge steam train service. The group activities includes providing voluntary support team to Apple Express Rail, such as the provision of the work crew for the cleaning and preparation of Apple Express Rail rolling stock, as well as a train crew for excursion trains; work sessions during which cosmetic restoration and light maintenance will be given to the various steam locomotives and coaches; and training of members wishing to become train crews, which include the positions of Coach Controllers, Train Managers, Firelighters and Firemen.
Apple Express Rail - 18 February 2013