Thursday, 29 November 2012

Chapter 14 The big flood

During the building of the Rutenga, Beit bridge rail link we had a lot of rain over a period of 3 days. This caused a lot of flooding and the Bubye river came down in flood.

Fortunately the driver of the train on its way to Beit bridge managed to stop in time before the washed away bridge and contacted me where I was stationed at a temporary station called Lesanth.

I got into my bakkie and drove to the bridge on the fire path and saw an amazing sight.

The tracks were hanging in the air similar to the photo but the bridge was still intact.

Crews were called in from Bulawayo and work started to fill in the missing part of the wall that had been washed away. Many tons of earth would have to be moved and that would take time, so the engineers worked out that if the train goes over the damaged part of the track the weight of the trucks behind the locomotive would push the loco out the other side and the loco would them have enough momentum to pull the load out the other side. A standby loco was stationed at the next siding to assist trains passing through.

This worked out very well and the goods kept rolling.

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