Pinetown is the end of the current suburban service on the Old Natal Main Line and the end of the semaphore signalling on the line. There is single line working to Northdene (formerly Sarnia until Sarnia closed in 2000 by token. Token working west of Pinetown ceased around 1990 with the closure of the signal boxes further up the line at Kloof, Hillcrest and Botha's Hill. This section is now worked by telegraph orders, although there is some talk of introducing wooden staff. The signal box that works the area contains 40 levers, controlling an impressive layout that is unfortunately being run down.

This is a picture I took of the station building at Pinetown. The front area was probably used for signalling, until the current box was built.

The home signal on the Kloof end with arms for entry into two loops and the yard, as well as the main line. Unfortunately all the wires and detectors for this signal have been stolen, so it is no longer operational. Note also that this line is no longer electrified.

The inner home signal on the Kloof end with arms for entry into the main line, bay platform and parcel siding. The bay platform was for trains going further up the line towards Cato Ridge and Pietermaritzburg, but these train are no longer, and the parcels siding is no longer used. The stealing of equipment has made it very difficult for the remaining special trains running west of Pinetown to join the line- you can only go up the line through the loop & come in on the loop. Theres a shunting neck just before the no 31 derail, so when a train exits the yard for Kloof or Cato Ridge they have to run in the neck, then push back down to the home signal then go up through the loop, or main line and cross over in front of the signal cabin if there is no suburban train staged there.

Two views of the home signal on the Sarnia end of the station. This is in regular use still for the reasonably regular suburban service, and also has arms for the main line, two loops and the yard.

The outer home and distant signal at the Sarnia end.

The ground point indicator on the shunting leg at the Sarnia end.

The distant and outer home signal on the Kloof end, also not in use. There is talk of rationalising the layout at Pinetown by putting buffer stops on the main line and two loops in the Kloof direction and accessing the Kloof line through the yard. CTC from Durban is also a possibility on this line and has been mooted for 2007. However, for now, Pinetown soldiers on as an interesting, if run-down location for semaphores in South Africa.

Another angle for the outer home signal!
More pictures of Pinetown:
Dwarf signals
Pictures inside the box
All pictures and info on this page courtesy of Greg Hart, except where noted.
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