After Germiston, De Aar is the second largest railway junction in the Republic.
The lines from the western and eastern Cape, Gauteng and Namibia met here and within the precincts of the town are 110 km of track. Crack passenger trains, the Blue Train, Trans-Karoo, Orange Express and the Drakensberg, stopped here to change crews.
De Aar ('the vein') takes its name from an underground watercourse.
In the Damfontein district many Bushmen paintings can be seen.
Bleakly cold in winter, sun-scorched in summer, De Aar is no holiday resort but has a major role in the transport system of Southern Africa.
Among the towns prominent citizens was authoress Olive Schreiner, who lived there from 1907-1913.
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