Umgeni Steam Railway (USR) is a registered Section 21 non-profit organisation based in Durban, South Africa. USR was established in 1982 with the purpose of preserving South African steam heritage for future generations to enjoy.
We have around 50 volunteers who give up their time to maintain our steam heritage. USR runs once a month – the last Sunday of every month with occasional specials such as Easter weekend, Mother’s Day, trip to the Royal Agricultural Show and Father’s Day. All of these, however, were cancelled as regulations were put in place by the South African Government due to the current pandemic we are facing – the Corona Virus (CoVid19).
Being a non-profit organisation – USR relies on income generated by approximately 500 passengers coming on each of these trips to sustain itself. Our last running day was the 22nd of February 2020. Money generated is used for maintenance of our locomotives, coaches, railway track and general expenses such as, rent.
Even without running trains, USR has fixed monthly expenses of around R90 000/$5 000 some of which includes, rent, water, electricity, security, Railway Safety Regulator fees, track maintenance and insurance. USR does not receive funding from outside sources. In order for us to operate again, we have to ensure our costs are covered.
This is where we need your help.
We want to keep steam heritage alive as we are one of the only volunteer-run group still operating in South Africa – as others have gone into business rescue, voluntary liquidation or have been closed. We want to be able to welcome our volunteers and passengers back again, once regulations allows us to - which could be earliest November or latest next year.
Please help us to keep USR solvent during enforced lockdown so that we can continue to preserve our steam heritage that many have come to know and love, by any donations possible. We appreciate any donations received
Images by: Graham Gillett & Pierre Retief
Video by: DUrban TV