World of Steam: Eritrea
By the early 1990s it had become obvious that South African steam power was in very rapid decline. This disappointment was, however, alleviated by an aggressive preservation programme, and by the periodic operation of comprehensive steam specials allowing the preserved locos to be viewed under ideal conditions.

The big surprise, however, was the rehabilitation and subsequent re-opening of the Eritrean Railway to steam specials.

Volume 25: Steam in Eritrea

Eritrea is a remarkable country.  Despite extreme poverty and a thirty-year struggle for independence, visitors are still afforded the warmest of welcomes.  Moreover, crime levels are low and there is a genuine sense of civic pride, despite lying within the Horn of Africa, a region infamous for war and famine. 

A particularly pleasant surprise awaits the railway enthusiast, who may travel behind 1930s, Italian-built Mallet steam locomotives on the railway between Massawa (the main port) and the capital, Asmara.  This is one of the most spectacular lines in the world, and climbs almost 2400 metres in only just over 100 kilometres amidst breathtaking mountainous scenery.

The experience is all the more improbable since the line was inoperable for thirty years, and was ravaged during the war of independence. Refurbishment has been undertaken almost entirely by the Eritreans themselves, guided by those who worked on the railway prior to its closure, many of whom are now in their 80s! 

In this programme which lasts for 60 minutes we see the Mallets in action as we take a conducted trip up the line.  We also visit the engine sheds and works, and consider the history and plans for the future of the line.  For good measure we also take a brief look at one of the 1930s-built Littorina railcars that are still serviceable and offer tourist excursions.    

Experience this exciting line, from the steamy shores of the Red Sea to the rarefied atmosphere of Asmara!

Format DVD-R
Price 18, inc. p & p
Duration Approx. 60 minutes
Menu-indexed? Yes



North of Arbaroba


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