24 February 2012

Outeniqua Power Van

After spending about an hour walking around in the Outeniqua Transport Museum we were ready for our trip on the Outeniqua Power Van.
Outeniqua Power Van is a motorized rail trolley and was used for doing maintenance on the railways.  It has 2 vans with place for about 12 people in each.  The interior looks a bit neglected but it is a comfortable ride. 

There are four passes over the Outeniqua Mountains towards Oudtshoorn namely the Cradock Pass (Ox wagon), the Railways Pass, the un-tarred Montagu Pass and the tarred Outeniqua Pass.
Outeniqua Power Van
The Power Van rides on the railway pass. Construction of the railway started in 1908 and was completed in 1913. There was a guide traveling with us in the van who gives interesting information about the history of George and the four passes and about the plants and birds along the way.

The first pass over the mountain was the Cradock pass built for ox wagons.  This pass is marked with white beacons and can be seen while traveling up the mountain.  The second pass was the Montagu pass, completed in 1847.  This pass reduced traveling time with about three hours and can still be used.  Then came the railway pass in 1913.  The final pass is the Outeniqua pass, opened in 1951 and upgraded in 1993.

The Power van trip takes about 2,5 hours and include a half hour stop for a picnic. You must take your own food. We almost forgot the picnic and only had a few snacks.  It is a very relaxing outing. Up in the mountain it is quiet and you can enjoy the views of George and nature. 

Outeniqua Power Van
Outeniqua Mountain
 

Outeniqua Power Van
Railway pass next to Montagu pass
 

Outeniqua Power Van


Power Van at the picnic stop
 

Outeniqua Power Van
The gravel Montagu Pass and
tarred Outeniqua Pass
 USEFUL INFORMATION:
Outeniqua Power Van
Address:                       Outeniqua Transport Museum, 2 Mission Street, George, South Africa
Phone no:                     +27 44 801 8239
Visiting Hours:               Monday – Friday:             08:00 - 16:30
                                    Saturday - Sunday:            09:30 - 15:30

(Not a sponsored post)

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