HARTENBOS

Hartenbos is a name well-known to many generations of South African as a holiday resort. It is just eight kms from Mossel Bay. The short line from Mossel Bay joins with the line from Cape Town (via Worcester and Riversdale) at the Voorbaai marshalling yard which is just a kilometer away. This is the first station after the junction, and passengers on the Cape Town to Port Elizabeth trains used to change for Mossel Bay, in the days when there was a regular passenger service here.

Up until 1992, there was a nice display of semaphore signals controlled by boxes at Voorbaai and Hartenbos. However the lines in this region have always had light traffic, especially as South African railways started to be run down from the 80s as public policy moved towards favoring the road lobby. The lines were then run by radio control, and most of the remaining mechanical signalling was removed.

Hartenbos had a lever frame of 24 levers, signalling the convergence of the main line from Voorbaai and a line coming in from the yard. These lines then split into a main and loop through the station, with a single line continuing east towards George.

Again, the signal box was simply a front room in the station building. The lever frame is long gone, but this picture shows what used to be the signal box. At least the building survives, and you may be able to make out its second life as a general retail outlet. This picture was taken in December 2004

By April 2007, Hartenbos had joined many of its neighbouring station buildings in the Mossel Bay as a catering facility, and the front of the signalling area had been cut away to form an open air area (behind the black netting) as this picture shows.
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