Volksrust – Railway Station

Volksrust Railway station

 

As the NZASM engineers acquainted themselves more and more with local conditions such as traffic considerations, building materials, building expertise and climate, the company’s drawing-office in Pretoria, supervised by the chief architect, V van Lissa, became capable of designing all structures required. As is testified by the Klerksdorp, Potchefstroom, Krugersdorp, Middelburg, Heidelberg, Volksrust and other large station buildings, these designs were sometimes quite complicated. Yet the same basic design crops up everywhere, especially at the smaller station buildings.

When the surveys of the South-Eastern Line were conducted, it was decided to establish the important border station of Volksrust to the eastern side of the settlement. This site was probably determined by the local topography and the existence of the newly-proclaimed town.

Volksrust was designed as a station with an island platform. According to a plan of the station building, this structure was also designed by the NGR. However, its design closely followed the other types of station buildings used for NZASM island platforms, and is therefore very similar to the Elandshoek and Kaapmuiden buildings. Volksrust station building actually consists of two separate units which were joined together by a common low-pitched roof without any gables. A covered walkway was thus provided between the two buildings.

The station building (completed December 1895) was constructed of dressed natural stone with a regular pattern of large stones. It was built by Lindsay & Perie. who also erected the Standerton building. The longer (southern) unit contained an enclosed courtyard with a subterranean cellar, a kitchen, dutyroorn and dining-room. Next to the latter was a waiting-room, incorporating a bar. The smaller (northern) unit housed the station-master’s office, a luggage-room, ladies’ waiting-room and toilets.

ADMINISTRATIVE AND REFRESHMENT BUILDINGS

A most interesting office building is to be found on the island platform at Volksrust Station. Because of the similarity of its design and construction materials it can easily be mistaken for a NZASM building, which it is not. It was erected during 1896 for the purpose of providing customs offices. It is the only ZAR customs office building known to exist.

Since the time of writing of De Jong et al in 1988 the station has been abandoned and ransacked for materials.

The Volksrust Station is proximate to the NZASM Railway Village.

(De Jong et al, 1988: 85, 91, 188, 192)

All truncated references not cited and linked below are those of Joanna Walker’s original text and cited in full in the ‘Bibliography’ entry of the Lexicon.

Writings about this NZASM South-Eastern Line Railway Station

Bakker, Karel A, Clarke, Nicholas J & Fisher, Roger C. 2014. Eclectic ZA Wilhelmiens : A shared Dutch built heritage in South Africa. Pretoria: Visual Books. pp 213.
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De Jong, RC, Van der Waal, GM & Heydenrych, DH. 1988. NZASM 100 : 1887-1899, the buildings, steam engines and structures of the Netherlands South African Railway Company. Pretoria: C. Van Rensburg Publications on behalf of the Human Sciences Research Council. pp 85, 91, 188, 192.