Emanating from a fantasy of travelling from Africa’s southern- to northern most tips, The Blue Train was steam-rolled into being in the 1920s. The two original trains, known then as the Union Limited and the Union Express, meandered their way as far as the Great African Railway would allow – a bridge straddling the Zambezi River, showered by the “thunderous smoke” of the Victoria Falls – a trip taken by Former State President, Thabo Mbeki in 1998.
As news of the discovery of gold and diamonds travelled afar, thousands flocked to South Africa’s Witwatersrand – Ridge of White Waters – with a dream of digging their way to untold riches. The railway lines became utilitarian, ferrying society on the move. But the ridge’s mineral wealth soon funded a burgeoning upper-class, one that came to expect a more opulent mode of transport. And the Union carriages became standard-bearers of the easy-living heyday of the 1920s, boasting everything from card tables to ceiling fans, to hot and cold water on tap.
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