This pictorial history can be broken down into two eras, before and after the reconstruction of the
bridge in 1930.

As built, the bridge had two railway lines but no road. Road vehicles had to pay the railway to be
transported over the river, or use the old drift upstream from the Victoria Falls.
The Weekender
From 1910 a local passenger train ran from
Livingstone to Victoria Falls on Saturdays
and Sundays. The train normally comprised
a Nasmith Wilson locomotive, later a 7th
Class, as depicted in these postcards,
hauling one composite 1st/2nd class coach
and a van. The train was replaced was by the
first Rhodesia Railways railcar in 1916.
Postcard published by SASPCO
Shows a 7th Class locomotive with the Weekender
This website is copyright.
This includes all
photographs, text, line
drawings and artwork.
Email any queries
A postcard by an unknown publisher showing a
7th Class locomotive with the Weekender
The War Years 1914 to 1918
The Victoria Falls Bridge was strategically
important during the First World War,
primarily because the South African and
Rhodesian forces were in action in
Tanganyika and this bridge was the only
crossing over the Zambezi River. Following a
suspected act of attempted sabotage the
bridge was defended with a guard and a
portable searchlight.
Postcard published by Percy Clarke showing a
BSA Police Maxim Squad crossing the bridge.
The rail mounted searchlight generator is visible
in the distance
National Archives of Zimbabwe photograph
showing the searchlight, generator and blockhouse.