Where were the trains based, and how far did the line run. Was it used at anytime to carry supplies at all during the Zulu War.
From the records of the Defence Committee,
"it appears that Major Huskisson was the first British officer to suggest the use of armoured trains in warfare. Upon his recommendation it was decided that in the event of the Zulus approaching the town, the engine and trucks of the Natal Railway Company should be manned with riflemen and patrol the line between the Umgeni and town.
General Lord Chelmsford visited Durban on oth February, 1879, and inspected the various defence works, expressing himself as satisfied with the plan adopted for repelling attack.
The harassing suspense and constant dread of attack were not alleviated until March 4th, 1879, when H.M.S. " Shah '' arrived unexpectedly and landed 200 Blue-jackets. This ship happened to be at St. Helena when news was received of the disaster which had befallen British troops in Zululand. His Excellency Governor Janisch immediately placed at the disposal of the Commander-in-Chief the greater part of the garrison of the Island, and Capt. Bradshaw, E.X., assumed the responsibility of changing the route of his vessel in order to transport these men to Durban. Never were British seamen more heartily welcomed in Durban than were the 200 men landed from H.M.S. " Shah." Other reinforcements followed, the battle of Ulundi was won, and all fear of attack on the town passed.
Letters were forwarded to His Excellency Governor Janisch and to Capt. Bradshaw, E.N., commanding H.M.S. " Shah," conveying the thanks of the Burgesses
for the timely assistance rendered to the town by the prompt decisions arrived at and the means adopted for forwarding reinforcements."