Fish Hoek beach ‘railway line’ is really the remains of a 90-year-old wall

Fish Hoek beach ‘railway line’ is really the remains of a 90-year-old wall

The City of Cape Town’s Coastal Management team said what was first thought to be the remains of a temporary railway line – built in 1929 – on Fish Hoek Beach is now considered to be the skeleton of a retaining wall built more than 90 years ago.


The Coastal Management team said it spent most of Monday morning, 31 January, trying to uncover the line and ascertain its origins.
First, it was thought to be part of a temporary spur line built on Fish Hoek beach in 1929 when the government decided to remove all the sand dunes from that particular section of the beach.
However, the City now believes that the intriguing lines in the sand are the remains of the first beach revetment built at Fish Hoek in 1930.

“This revetment was built with sleepers from the railway line and joined by rail components, thus the confusion with the spur line.

“Lying on its side it looked like a railway line. It has been buried for over 90 years, and was briefly exposed on Monday,’ explained the City’s Deputy Mayor and MayCO Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Eddie Andrews.
The City has no plans to remove the line, which was exposed by very low beach levels, at this stage, as it believes the exposure is temporary.
“Our coastline is very dynamic and winds and cycles and storms have an ongoing impact – this was evident during the recent surge, coupled with the full moon spring tide last month. Thus, there is no need for us to take action, we will let the natural process unfolds,’ said Andrews.
If the revetment remains exposed, the City will consider its removal.