South African Railways and Harbours

In 1910 the state-owned South African Railways and Harbours (SAR&H) organisation was created, after the four colonies of the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange Free State were amalgamated into the new Union of South Africa. In 1916, SAR&H took over the activities of the Central South African Railways, the Cape Government Railways and the Natal Government Railways. In 1924 the last privately owned railway line in South Africa was taken over by SAR&H; the New Cape Central Railway between Worcester and Voor Bay. In 1920 electrification of South Africa’s railways was completed, and in 1924 the first electric test train ran between Ladysmith and Chieveley in Natal. In 1950 the first portion of the new Johannesburg station was opened and construction was completed on the huge workshops complex at Koedoespoort. In 1960, diesel locomotives were introduced on a large scale to SAR&H. In 1981, SAR&H changed its name to South African Transport Services (SATS) and took on South Africa’s railway, harbour, road transport, and aviation and pipeline operations.