Self-made train travels around Bloemfontein

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Alex Khumalo and his 'train shelter' that he build with materials he found along the N1 outside Bloemfontein. Photo: Pierce van Heerden

When turning onto the N1 from Langenhoven Park you might have spotted what looks like a self-made ‘train’ carrying a trailer.
This ‘train’ as been made from recycled material by Alex Khumalo (37), who travels all around the country with his creation.
Khumalo, born and raised in the Transkei, has travelled all the way from Mpumalanga to Cape Town and back to Bloemfontein.
To some this may just seem like a ‘train’ with a trailer, but the trailer that’s being pulled by the ‘train’ is Khumalo’s shelter. He has made his ‘train’ out of pieces of material he found along the way as he was travelling from one city to another.
To Khumalo this is not just an attraction for people travelling along the N1. It is his home. He finds shelter in the container during the harsh winter currently experienced in Bloemfontein. Khumalo lost his parents at a young age. He was forced to make a life of his own because of his difficult circumstances.
He is creative and enjoys making crafty things from reclyclable material, like his ‘train’. When Bloemfontein Courant asked Khumalo about his project, he said that he is still busy extending his ‘train’ and shelter. He is also in search of some new parts as he plans to make it easier to move his ‘mobile home’. He intends to create more pieces of craft out of materials he finds along his journey. The ‘train’ carries all Khumalo’s necessities like water, food and clothes.
People often stop and take photos of Khumalo’s ‘train’. Phineas Seaf, a truck driver from Johannesburg, stopped at Khumalo’s shelter with two of his co-workers, Sifiso Radebe and Sydwell Nkanyani, to admire this ‘train’ and have a chat with Khumalo.
“There is definitely brains in this, and I wish that someone could see the talent of this man and help him,” said Seaf.
Khumalo can be seen along the the N1 and one thing is for sure, he is always up for a chat.

– Pierce van Heerden

pierce@mahareng.co.za