Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News

RN 75 - St. Weekly Report - 15th - 21st July 2005





This little diesel locomotive received special maintenance this week and her brakes were adjusted.

The wheels of the Hunslet arrived on the Farm at 16H00 today. Two fitters will immediately start to fit back the wheels and the brake gear, while Des will start the machining of the bushes. The Hunslet will then be used to work the ballast train on the almost completed new railway extension line. It is planned to have the Hunslet back in service by Friday night.

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The wheels were retyred and turned by Denrus Engineering in Odendaalsrus. I was astonished by the machinery they have. I could not believe what these people actually could do.
The manager, Piet Viljoen's father started the Engineering workshop years ago. They began with the fitting of tyres to the steam locomotives and today, they do electric locomotive wheels. There are even firms overseas that send their wheels to Denrus Engineering to have them retired and turned.
Many of the mines in South Africa use them to retyre their hopper and locomotive wheels.

In some cases it is even possible to weld the tyres again. They are then machined and as good as new and cost 40% less.
I took some photos of the bearings and the wheels. They x-rayed the bearing housing for me to show the cracks.

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The brass dome was cleaned and fitted to 113 this week. It changed the look of the locomotive completely.


This week was a week dedicated to the restoration of narrow gauge wagons. We have exciting projects on different kind of wagons and modifications to them.

WAGON 2836:
At first we thought to varnish the woodwork on this wagon with the original dirty colour, but it just did not look right, and we decided to sand off all the paint to the original wood finish. After we sanded the wagon, it was varnished and this made this wagon really one of a kind. The steel work on this wagon was painted with a special dark brown.

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The overhauled vacuum cylinder was fitted back with a new release valve. The complete under frame and brake gear was de-scaled and painted with rust proof paint.

The bearings were fitted and the boxes were packed with new wool and oil. The wagon was stencilled in black and only needs to be shunted to the pit to fit the new brake gear.

WAGON 2454:
This wagon is almost completely de-scaled and Derrick is almost finished with the water tank on the back of this wagon. The wagon was fitted with new bearings where needed and all the boxes were packed with new wool. This wagon will be capable of carrying 2700 litres of water and enough coal to steam for two days without the need of refill. It will be a complete mobile steam cleaner and can be towed anywhere on the farm for steam cleaning purposes.

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This was a great idea and we are pushing this project to be finished within the next two weeks.

The coal dust extractor that Derrick is building out of the off cuts from this B wagon is also in the final stages, and we plan to have this extractor finished by Monday night.

It is built in the form of a little B wagon and will be an attraction to all.


The last wooden crate will be varnished and stencilled tomorrow and will be fitted to this wagon.

Five B wagons were re-railed this week. They are Wagon numbers 1614, 1692, 2436, 1812, 1699. Two of this B wagons are off the very oldest type of B wagons that were built. They will need a lot of attention to the steel work, but are worth restoring as they are very special.

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One DZ is loaded with sleepers. We have de-scaled two bogeys and they were spray-painted and will be loaded onto another DZ. We are going to collect the empty oil drums at Pandora and will spray painted. This will be loaded on the third DZ. The B wagon with the bales will be covered with a tarpaulin.
The new completed flat wagon and the G wagon will be coupled together because of the special wood finish that they have and will be part of the consist for the journalists event on Friday.


1. B-wagon 2926 Stencilled 2005 Completely finished
2. B-wagon 2436 Stencilled ? Completely finished
3. B-wagon 1125 Stencilled ? Completely finished
4. B-wagon 1136 Stencilled ? Completely finished
5. B-wagon 922 Stencilled ? Completely finished
6. B-wagon 2947 Stencilled ? Completely finished
7. B-wagon 921 To stencil
? Needs to be stencilled
8. B-wagon 1146 To stencil ? Needs to be stencilled
9. B-wagon 1680 To stencil ? Needs to be stencilled
10. B-wagon 2951 To stencil ? Loaded with big steam engine in wagon shed
11. DZ 2901 To stencil ? Needs to be stencilled
12. DZ 1976 Stencilled ? Completely finished
13. DZ 862 To stencil ? Needs to be stencilled
14. Ay 2806 Stencilled 2005 Completely finished
15. Ay 2032 Stencilled 2004 Completey finished
16. O-wagon 4000 To stencil ? Needs to be stencilled
17. O-wagon 3733 Stencilled ? Dirty wagon
18. OZ 3197 Stencilled 2004 Completely finished
19. GZ 2834 Stencilled 2004 Completely finished
20. QZ 180 To stencil 2004 Needs to be stencilled
21. V 3172 Guard van 2005 Only underframe was done
22. V 3175 Guard van 2004 Completely finished
23. PE-coach 52
2004 Windows are being painted cream currently.
24. PE-coach 67
? To be refurbished next
25. Uitenhage

? For use with small locomotives
26. Uitenhage

? For use with small locomotives
27. Open coach

? For use with small locomotives
28. Saloon

? Completely finished
29. Dinning car

? Needs two handrails


We plan to refurbish this very old wagon from Gumtree like the picture above:We have the wood, bolts and paint in stock. Only the wheels, axle boxes and springs with hangers will be used and the rest of the wagon will be completely rebuilt by one of the Steam staff.
It will take not longer than two weeks full time work to finish this wagon. It might be essential to have the wood planed at a carpenter and will be the only extra cost involved.

The Wickham railcar is undergoing a cosmetic upgrade and the engine was serviced this week. Desmond built a new diesel tank for the Wickham and it will be fitted next week.


Gold Field Track made huge progress this week and are almost at the end where the line will be connected near Pandora. They are going to work throughout the weekend and will be finished by Monday night. We are going to run the ballast trains from Monday on, and as we offload the ballast, they will start with the lift and packing of the line. This balloon track will make it possible for one train to run via Vailima to Vailima Halt, while another train can take the shortcut to Vailima Halt with a interesting train crossing at Vailima Halt. This is stunning and will be just as exciting for passengers waiting for a train.

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Arno is busy with the Station name boards, and the Hoekfontein name board will be fitted in the next week.



This derailed wagon was part of the big derailment at Arlington station. Note the children in the right corner, watching how the wagon is re-railed.

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Steam Greetings, Gert