Tag Archives: Wismar to Rockstone

THE 1897 WISMAR TO ROCKSTONE RAILWAY

THE 1897 WISMAR TO ROCKSTONE RAILWAY

By Dmitri Allicock

The once popular and well known 1897 Demerara to Essequibo railway symbolized Upper Demerara and served as a cornerstone in its development before Bauxite dominated. This railway provided valuable and safe transportation for commuters and cargo between Essequibo and Demerara. It was Guyana’s first inland railroad – The Demerara Essequibo Railway (DER).

Hugh Sprostons entry to British Guiana in 1840 saw a dire need for transportation across Guyana’s waterways and its hinterlands. He established steam-powered vessels across Guyana and built Guyana’s dry dock in 1867, where damaged vessels could be repaired and new ones constructed.

Sprostons had steam brigs or vessels plying the Georgetown route as far as Lucky Spot up the Demerara River since the 1850s. They were also other privately-operated vessels of that period. Access up the mighty Essequibo River was a different matter. Navigation was very dangerous due to the many rapids and waterfalls. Many people drowned as they tried to navigate the torrent Essequibo and boats capsized more often than not.  Continue reading

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