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Interest in railway development was shown very early in the Cape Colony.In 1853 a group of British financiers formed the Cape Town Railway and Dock Company, and in March 1859 construction of the first railway in South Africa started at the present Woodstock, reaching Wellington in November 1863.The Transnet 150 year celebration release says the Salt River Workshops was created in 1862 to maintain the imported rolling stock, and the earliest plan of the workshops, dated 1869, show that it covered an area of 2000 m² consisting of two main buildings containing engine erecting, blacksmith, machine, carriage and paint shops.The inner-city suburbs of Woodstock, Salt River and Observatory contrasted sharply with leafy Rondebosch.“If you saw a beam of light in the foundry it was solid dust.
Within a week of the arrival of the three ships, work had begun on the Fort of Good Hope.
The construction of the Castle of Good Hope, which still stands today, only began in 1666, after Van Riebeeck had left the Cape, and was completed 13 years later.
In 1679, Simon van der Stel was sent to the Cape to become the new governor and in 1689, some 180 Huguenot refugees were brought to the Cape after Louis XIV had banned Calvinism in France.
The aim was to establish a refreshment station to supply the crew of the Company’s passing trading ships with fresh water, vegetables and fruit, meat and medical assistance.
However, the first winter experienced by Van Riebeeck and his crew was extremely harsh, as they lived in wooden huts and their gardens were washed away by the heavy rains.
From the Cape colony, the settlers were sent to Algoa Bay, known today as Port Elizabeth.