Railway Heritage

Bloem locos shed Sandstone July 22
Three locomotives, originally from Sandstone’s Bloemfontein facility, are now under cover. From left to right, 11 Class 929, 19D 2654 and 24 Class 3688.

All the locomotives and rolling stock moved from Bloemfontein and Germiston are now in a covered facility at Sandstone.

Locomotives Galleries

The Sandstone Railway stock list has been a feature of the website for many years. For 2021 we are adding a photo gallery of all our locomotives in 5 parts.

Part 1 Narrow gauge steam (ex SAR)

Part 2 Cape Gauge Steam (ex SAR)

Part 3 Cape Gauge Industrial

Part 4 Narrow Gauge Industrial

Part 5 Diesel locomotives

We hope you enjoy them!

Sandstone Spring Festival

Sadly the Cherry Festival will not be held in Ficksburg in 2020 due to the Covid 19 pandemic but a number of local establishments will be open over the weekend of Thursday 19th November to Sunday 22nd November together with Sandstone who will be holding a steam festival over the four days. Sandstone has been closed since the pandemic began but will re-open  for visitors from November 1st 2020.

From the 19th November until 21st November Sandstone will be offering train rides together with walking tours of the Sandstone Heritage collection.

Entrance is R200 for adults and R125 for children under 12.
Trains will run from 11h00 on Thursday 19th and Friday 20thth and from 10h00 on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd.

Please note that strict Covid 19 protocols will be followed and no one will be admitted if not wearing a mask. A screened temperature over 37 degrees will also result in non-admittance together with other members of the party.

Click here to Read more

SAR NGG13 No. 49 HANOMAG 10598 psh kl

The Sandstone Steam Railway Stock List has been updated. The new version amends the incorrect Hanomag works number for NGG13 number 49 from 10599 to 10598. Information via Andreas Giller at the Hanomag Museum in Germany and Garratt Bucher in the USA confirms that 10598 is the correct works number for number 49. The attached pic courtesy of Hanomag confirms the information.

Our documentation extending back some 20 years has always detailed number 49 as Hanomag 10599 but after all these years the correct information has emerged.

Click here to see the Latest Stock List


Screen Shot 2021 05 21 at 10.46.33

Sandstone Steam Railway has updated its stock list. The update corrects the build date of 15F 3052 and the disposal of four mainline coaches. - Click here to view

Screen Shot 2017 09 14 at 9.30.59 AM

The September 2017 edition of Getaway magazine has an interesting article by Tyson Jopson on a road trip to the Eastern Free State including a visit to the Stars event in 2017. Click here to read more

NG10 restoration
The prestigious rail magazines, Narrow Gauge World and The Railway Magazine have recently given us excellent coverage on our NG10 restoration and David Shepherd’s 15F 3052’s move to Friends of the Rail in Pretoria. Click here to view the articles.

Click Below to view the Articles :

Last survivor set to steam again

NGG11 Garrett

Steam Restoration SA15112016


Sandstone Heritage Trust has a varied collection of stationary engines but one gem that is currently under repair is a Watermota K2 6hp twin cylinder 2 stroke inboard marine engine. These engines were produced by Watermota Ltd of Newton Abbot, UK from 1910 to 1955. Their long production run was testament to their durability and reliability. Also produced was the K1 3 hp single cylinder version. Both were used in small launches. The design was noted for its ability to feather the propshaft blades for forward, reverse or neutral obviating the need for some form of gearbox.

Watermota are also well known for their range of Ford Anglia based marine engines produced in the fifties and sixties.

Today the Watermota K1 and K2 types are highly prized as display engines around the world while some are still in service as light craft. The Sandstone example is having new brackets made for the ‘gear’ lever mounting, together with some seals and a new cam for the water pump.

Watermota image

The Watermota K2 marine engine. Starting was by a crank handle on the top chain pulley.


Today Watermota is still very much in business supplying marine engines – particularly Hyundai Seasall as well as other brands, accessories and parts.


Update on 14R 1745 - Impending scrapping put on hold

Sandstone is pleased to announce that the impending scrapping of Class 14R locomotive No. 1745 has been put on hold for the present. An Australian enthusiast and owner of an ex SAR locomotive in South Africa has expressed a desire to purchase some parts from 1745. In the interest of preservation Sandstone has agreed to delay any action with 1745 until the enthusiast has visited South Africa later in June 2015 and assessed the viability of a number of parts on 1745 for his use.

Letter from Grant Fryer regarding 14R 1745

Following on from the decision to scrap 14R No. 1745 we received the following letter from Grant Fryer at Hilton where 1745 saw service in the early 90s.


Good Day Sandstone,

I trust this email finds you well. I have recently seen the post on Reef Steamers of the intention to dispose of 14R 1745.

This is a loco that is close to my heart. I grew up on the Hilton old mainline, at Sweetwaters. I have vivid memories of watching the trains going over the level crossing, including 14R. I am sorry I never had a camera back then. My love for trains continued and eventually I worked at Hilton station during those preservation years. When 1745 was saved it was certainly with joy in my heart. I also so loved the colour scheme she went into, almost giving her a royalty title.

14R 1745 image 1

14R 1745 image 2

Today whilst cleaning at the station I came across a small book, ‘Locomotives of the Hilton line’.

Below are some scans of a few pages.

14R 1745 image 3

14R 1745 image 4

14R 1745 image 5

I saw her in 2013 when I was at Reefsteamers and took a photo.

14R 1745 image 6

I was filled with heartache after knowing her so well, and it is really sad to see her on the way out.


Grant Fryer