Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News

RN 243 - "Running ahead of schedule"

12th September 2006

Currently four locomotives have entered the restoration production line at the Sandstone Heritage Trust. We are keen to dust out our buildings and in the process have come across some interesting little locos which we have picked up along the way. Typically as one gets lower down the restoration pecking order the state of the locos deteriorates quite significantly. The line-up of locomotives that are currently being addressed are as follows:

1. South African Railways Class NG4 4-6-2T
Ex SAR number NG16 Kerr Stuart 1344/1913

Seven locomotives of this type were built between 1911 and 1914 for use on the Alfred County Railway from Port Shepstone to Harding. They were very similar in design to the Class NG3, built in 1907, which also worked in Natal. The locomotives spent their working lives in Natal and the last of the class, number 16, ended its SAR days as yard shunter at Port Shepstone, later being sold to Rustenburg Platinum Mines in 1953 for use on their extensive 2ft system.
After this was converted to 3’6” gauge in the early 70’s, NG16 was returned to the SAR for preservation, having been finally withdrawn from service around 1967. From then on the locomotive did an extensive tour of South Africa, it was first stored at De Aar depot and then moved to Milner Park in Johannesburg and subsequently to the District Engineers Office in Langlaagte. With the opening of the Humewood Road Narrow Gauge Museum in Port Elizabeth number 16 was moved there as an exhibit before finally returning to its original operating line at the privately owned Alfred County Railway in Port Shepstone. Sadly it deteriorated badly in the sea air.

In 2003 it was moved to the Sandstone workshops in Bloemfontein where it is currently undergoing restoration. Lukas Nel and his team discovered that the frames were bent following a bad derailment around 1953 with concurrent damage to the front bogie and the brake gear. No: 16 will also need retubing plus new water tanks, cab and coal bunker and a chimney.
This locomotive is quite far advanced since work has been continuing in background mode. The locomotive is on lend/lease from the Transnet Heritage Foundation and the Sandstone Heritage Trust holds a signed long-term legal agreement to act as its custodian. The various provisions in the agreement are being addressed and the locomotive will be in steam in 2007. We will publish regular progress reports on the web.

This is a medium sized narrow gauge locomotive of great historical significance.

NG4 No. 16 at Humewood 15th December 1988
2. O&K's.
The next two locomotives are both O&K's. One is being tackled by Bloemfontein and the other one by Keith Stevens in Howick. Details of the two locomotives are as follows:

Ex Companhia do Assucar de Angola Orenstein & Koppel (O&K) 0-4-0T
(500mm gauge)

One of four locomotives discovered in Angola during the Sandstone visit of 2003 that have been shipped to South Africa. Serving the once thriving sugar industry of the Portuguese colony where the gauge was generally 600mm, the Estate in Caixito (formerly Tentativa) was built to 500mm so these locos are not compatible with the Sandstone system. However many of these small tank units were built to a variety of gauges and have their wheels keyed to the driving axles and can be easily converted to 600mm. As with the other locos from Angola they were found in very poor and run down condition.

Research from the O&K records indicates that the following 500mm units were delivered to Companhia do Assucar in Angola:

O&K 11112/1925 30hp 0-6-0T shipped September 1925
O&K 12140/1930 30hp 0-6-0T shipped April 1930
O&K 12493/1934 30hp 0-6-0T shipped April 1934
O&K 12536/1934 10hp 0-4-0T shipped August 1934

Photographs exist of an 0-4-0T number 3 and an 0-6-0T number 5 in service in 1969, number 3 is believed to be 12536 and number 5, 11112, but further research is required to establish their true identities. The three 0-6-0Ts are currently in storage at Hoekfontein while number 12536, the 0-4-0T is under restoration at Stevens Mechanical Engineering in Kwa Zulu Natal.
The O&K's as they were found
Ex Huletts Sugar 0-4-0WT
Orenstein & Koppel 2510/1907
This small O&K is of the 40hp type being delivered from new to Huletts Sugar in Kwa Zulu Natal to work on their extensive system. It was later sold to Luipaardsvlei Estates and Gold Mining Co. to become their number 4.

It is believed that it then spent some time plinthed at Krugersdorp Safari Park before moving to the Orient Express (later the Train Restaurant) in Halfway House near Johannesburg.
Initially it was in good condition outside the restaurant but when the restaurant was closed for some time it was vandalised. In 2003 it was purchased from the restaurant on its final closure and is now at Bloemfontein.
Keith Stevens is already quite far advanced with the restoration, while Lukas and his team are currently doing the hard grind in taking this
locomotive (or at least what we have of it) down to its basic components.

Ex Huletts Sugar 0-4-0WT plinthed in Midrand
3. Illovo Sugar Estates Number ISE 3 0-4-2PT
Kerr Stuart 4063/1924

The final locomotive is a famous locomotive that used to work on
the Illovo Sugar Estate and believed to be the last survivor of a steam locomotive from that system. It is one of the “Darwin” type from this manufacturer, ISE 3 was built at Stoke on Trent in England. It was shipped to Illovo Sugar Estates where it ended its days plinthed in a small park next to the sugar mill. In 1988 it was donated to the RSSA branch in Natal and in 1991 moved to the Midmar Historical Village. Sandstone bought it in 1998.

During its days at Illovo it had been rebuilt with side tanks and had also lost its baloon type spark arresting chimney. In poor condition when acquired it was dismantled for assessment but the boiler is in poor condition.

Once again this last locomotive is historically significant and every attempt will be made to restore it to its original configuration, i.e. as close as possible to the image represented herewith Our restoration facilities are therefore fully committed for the time being.
ISE 3 Plinthed in the park next to the sugar mill