Thanks for that post.
Indeed, the railway line north from the capital took a many years to build because of the cost and engineering challenges created by the rugged Natal terrain.
Travelling north from Pietermaritzburg this track cuts through the Drakensberg foot hills and thus traverses very spectacular scenery.
Near the northern Natal/Tansvaal border, the railway "pass" at Ingogo ( below Majuba mountain)( Colley's folly) and summiting at Laing's Nek on the border, was a particularly difficult bit of engineering and time consuming.
However, as the line progressed north out of the capital, temporary northern termini were established at Hilton, Mooi River, Estcourt , Chievely, Colenso etc at which places where there were coach houses set up. Once the north bound traveller reached one of these, end of the rail, termini, horse drawn stage coaches ran the remainder of the distance, overland, up to the Gold Fields.
Whilst all of this was going on the construction trains hauling ballast, track, sleepers, and which ran the line every day were a transport medium for those requiring free travel, in either direction, undetected. Some dodgers even ran south to Durban where they stowed away on ships and sailed to Australia, for instance.
Colonel Bru de Wold ( a noteworthy character often discussed on this forum), was the antithesis of all of this.
He dived overboard from his Norwegion naval training ship whilst sailing north out of Durban harbour and swam to the shore , beaching at Umhlanga Rocks ( to the north of the city) from where he walked, some 170kms, to Port Shepstone on the south coast where he started his new very interesting, adventure filled life.