WILLOWMORE

Willowmore is on the famous "garden route" line between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, being 772 kms from Cape Town and 296 kms from Port Elizabeth by rail. Since the two cities are less than 700 kms apart as the Boeing flies, one can see that the rail route takes a slow and complicated route between these two great port cities, and indeed Willowmore is far from being a coastal garden city, and is actually on the edge of the arid Great Karoo. Like just about all small South African towns, the station is unmanned and has been subjected to vandalism for the past few years, as this 2003 picture shows.

There was sempahore signalling at this location until the 1980s, controlled from this front area of the station building.

In these 2003 pictures, the lever frames remain reasonably intact. It looks like there were 12 levers, with an outer home signal, and and main and loop home signal at each end, plus facing points and safety bars, a fairly typical layout for the light traffic on this line. One interesting point is that the lever description plates are all white irrespective of the use of the lever -this contrasts with the frames in the Western Cape such as Vlottenburg where the description plates color reflects the use of the lever. This was typical practice of the Cape Midlands region under which Willowmore fell.

The station building in better days -1980 picture by Richard Niven, who contributed all pictures on this page.


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