SARNIA

This was once a busy station on the Old Natal Main Line between Northdene and Pinetown, with coal trains going to the New Germany power station (Umgeni power station) which was a siding owned by the electricity utility Escom with a length of around 3km. The power station was where the preservation Group "Umgeni Steam Railway" started from in 1982, and ran trips for the public to Sarnia and back.

In the 80's it was manned 24 hours a day but since the closure of the power station around 1991, there was not much happening at Sarnia except one crossing a day between two suburban trains. However, after 1995, it was normally switched out unless there was a surplus of Train Control Officers, and the signal box was finally closed in 2000 with the points each end clamped for the main line. This picture, taken in May 2006, shows the signalling area. The lever frame is still there, but the place is getting badly vandalised as the station is now unattended.

This is a drawing of the layout by Greg Hart. The box had 24 levers.

More desolation at the station, showing evidence of the former loop.

Evidence of signals sadly gone at Sarnia.

2010 pictures of more desolation at the station, showing the former signalling area and abandoned loop.

2010 pictures of the lever frame and signalling area. The station will apparently be shortly rebuilt but the fate of the frame is uncertain.

Happier days at Sarnia, with a 14R of the Umgeni Steam Railway leaving for the power station. All pictures by Greg Hart.
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