Renowned railway author and journalist David Payling recently visited Sandstone as part of a short trip to South Africa to research material for his book on South African narrow gauge locomotives. After some time spent at the THF library, David visited Lukas Nel at the Sandstone facility in Bloemfontein where he was shown progress on the restoration of the Decauville and NG4 locomotives.
David Payling on the footplate
The video interview
Following this he spent a day at Sandstone where the class NG15 “Kalahari” no:17 was steamed for a photographic experience for David and a select group of invited guests. David is a member of the Welsh Highland Railway where similar NG15 locos are based but are out of use. Having never seen an NG15 in steam he was extremely pleased to photograph the loco and spend some time on the footplate. Sandstone video producers, Ron and Val Nel from Frameline, also interviewed David as part of the ongoing update of material for the next Sandstone steam video.
NG15 “Kalahari” no:17 steams ahead at dawn
The guests at David Payling's visit
After a tour of the workshop where David was particularly impressed by the small industrial loco collection, David was invited to drive the NG15 on the last trip of the day. He made only one comment,” wow!”
As Sandstone has a very active twinning arrangement with the Welsh Highland Railway, it was a pleasure to host one of its members, in fact a number of Sandstone personnel will be visiting Wales very soon where our hospitality will be reciprocated.