All Aboard!

Private Property South Africa
Shaun Wewege

A trip on a vintage train is not only a good way to escape the city for a day and enjoy time with the family, but can also uncover some gems for the keen investor.

As a child, I remember the thrill of taking a steam train out to Magaliesburg where we would have a braai and enjoy a day out against the backdrop of the breathtaking mountain range. I had thought that there were no operators who offered such a services but was delighted to find a few train operators in Gauteng. A bit of research also uncovered steam train tours in both KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape. Even more encouraging was the fact that many of the small towns and villages used as stop-over for these tours are places to consider for anyone who is keen to invest in property.

Friends of the Rail is an organisation that offers steam-locomotive tours to various destinations including Cullinan, famous for producing diamonds. This quaint village features oak-lined streets, some stone cottages and various recreational activities from golf to museums to game viewing. Not all of these activities are included in Friends of the Rail package but when booking your train trip inform them of any extra activities and they will arrange transfers. Cullinan and the nearby village of Rayton are also sought after by investors. B&B’s, game farms, upmarket residential estates, vacant land and agricultural holdings are among the properties one might find. Read more about Friends of the Rail - www.friendsoftherail.com.

Another destination that is great for getaways and worth looking in to by investors is Magaliesburg. The area is rich in natural history. Animal lovers, geologists, botanists and stressed city dwellers will be able to spend hours meandering through the rolling hills. The Reef Steamers Association organise regular trips to the town where you can enjoy a meal at a charming restaurant, browse arts and crafts shops or picnic under the trees. Investors will be interested to know that there are quite a few farms and some vacant land currently for sale. Visit www.reefsteamers.com to plan a trip.

In KwaZulu-Natal, the last Sunday of each month sees Umgeni Steam Railway arranging trips between Kloof and Inchanga. Travellers can take in the magnificence of the Valley of 1000 Hills as the train snakes its way between these two stations. The Old Main Line was built in the late 1800s and is one of the oldest active railway lines in South Africa. They also arrange trips to Nottingham Road and Wartburg, both towns identified as having potential for anyone looking for a weekend getaway home. Read more about Umgeni Steam Railway - www.umgenisteamrailway.co.za.

Atlantic Rail offer similar tours of the Cape Peninsula. Hop aboard a vintage coach and wind your way through Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek and Glencairn before stopping in Simonstown. Here you can visit a multitude of eateries, a penguin colony and retired naval ships. If you are lucky you may even spot some whales playing in the ocean. Houses, apartments, cluster developments and security complexes are some of the properties that are available to investors. Plan your trip - www.simonstown.com.

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