Briefmarken zur Eisenbahnthematik
Marken  die ich nicht als eisenbahnthematisch anerkenne
von Horst Brix

Lesotho              Nr. 237000  +  237003

Kommentar von Albert C. Borgstein: 

Dear Norman,

Thanks for your e-mail containing the correspondence between you and Horst 
Brix regarding the Lesotho "map' stamp and the question if any railwaylines 
appear here or not. Well, the answer is an absolute NO! There are no 
railwaylines depicted on these stamps which obviously is the reason why 
they are not included in my catalogue.

Does Lesotho have a railway? It depends what you understand under the term 
'railway'! If you define this as a railwaylink between two towns/cities 
then Lesotho does not have any at all. The country is very mountainous (The 
Drakensberg mountain range); there are only a few decent roads there (that 
is why an annual off-road motorcar rally is held here which has the name 
"The roof of Africa") and the local people travel traditionally around in 
this country on their famous Basutoland ponies! It is a land-locked country 
within South Africa and unlike what Horst is stating has NEVER been part of 
South Africa. It was formerly known as Basutoland.

However, there are railwaytracks in Lesotho!!!!! Maseru, the capital of 
Lesotho, has a station and is linked by rail to the South African 
railwaysystem by means of an 'international' branch-line running from 
Marseilles (a station on the Bloemfontein to Bethlehem mainline in the 
Orange Freestate province) to Maseru. Construction of this line was 
completed on 18 December 1905 and has a length of 26km. 99.9% of this line 
is situated in South Africa; the natural border between South Africa and 
Lesotho is the Caledon River which this line is crossing by means of a 
3-span two-pilared bridge. After this bridge follows about a 100 meters of 
straight track which is followed by a curve to the left. Immediately after 
this curve follows .......... the station-yard of Maseru! So in order to 
sum up: the railways of Lesotho comprise of: One Station-yard, one curve, 
100m. of straight track and probably half a bridge (although I doubt the 
latter)!! As you will realise by now not much reason to put this on a 
stamp! A daily 'mixed' (halfgoods/half passenger) trainservice is now 
hauled by diesels while it was the domain of the SAR 19D Class in the past. 
Lesotho does not have their own railways, locomotives or rolling stock and 
the Lesotho part of this line is operated by Transnet (Spoornet), ie. the 
South African railways.

The other Lesotho stamp (Scott no.116) depicts a self-propelled motorised 
diamond mine rail-vehicle and obvious belongs in a railway-thematic 
catalogue. This equipment was mostly used underground. These mines had 
their own railwaysystems mainly underground but also above ground but these 
did not connect al all to a railwayline simply because there are none in 
Lesotho. As you correctly stated most of these mines have now been 



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  Aktualisert 13. April 2001