During the railways era (1864 – 1964), while the sugar industry was facing a boom, many sugar factories transported their harvest to the crushing plants using both traditional and mechanical methods; ox-carts, tramways, and later on lorries… During the early years ox-carts were most of which used for the transport of canes, but later on, tramways (smaller & lighter version of trains) were used on dedicated tracks from specific points within the sugar estates. Sometimes it would also be up to the main Train Stations where thereon the transport would continue on regular trains. After the advent of motorised engines, lorries replaced the ox-carts and tramways up to now. Most of the ox-carts have disappeared and so have the tramways. However, some sugar estates have kept their little trains as a souvenir of that past. Gallery below!
As a side note, many of these old sugar factories have also closed down, or merged to form bigger ones. In 1858 there were about 259 sugar mills in Mauritius, however, due to the process of centralization, where sugar estates which were family owned estates merge into companies, the number of sugar mills have decreased to 137 sugar mills in 1888 and 79 sugar mills in 1903. Currently there are less than 20 Sugar Estates in the island still in operation. We had previously visited most of these old sites for the chimney remains.
There are still some others of these little engines displayed on other estates, and in time we will add them to this collection. Subscribe or follow this page from time to time to see them all. Additionally, there is this website which can also provide some more references about these tramways.