RN 87 - NGG 16. No. 88
Errol Ashwell has supplied us with some vintage photographs of NGG 16 No. 88 working the Banana Express in the 1970s.
This was later purchased privately and used during the early days of the ACR until it was set aside in need of repair. Purchased by Sandstone in 2003 it is now in the early stages of restoration, having been partially stripped down for assessment.
Of these four, nos. 85 to 88 three are owned by Sandstone, the missing example being no. 87 which is currently for sale in the UK, none of them being in working order.
Sandstone already has no.153 a restored Hunslet Taylor example built in 1968, and no. 113 a restored Beyer Peacock example built in1939, so no. 88 will complete a full set of NGG 16 builders. With NGG 13 no. 49 which was built by Hanomag of Germany, nobody can complain about a lack of variety.
Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News
RN 85 - Steam Shed weekly report - 12th - 18th August 2005
NGG NUMBER 153
153 were fired up early in the morning and were ready to take the train out at 09H00. On return to the shed, we all rushed to get the Kalahari ready to be loaded the next day.
Arno fitted two brass strips to the cylinder covers on both sides, while Petrus and Oupa were busy with polishing the brass on the Kalahari. The tender was washed out and the last repairs were done.
The Kalahari was steam tested before she was loaded.
NGG number 153 was steamed again to haul the Kalahari to Vailima where we could load it more easily. We departed at 12H00 and proceeded very slowly towards Vailima.
ABOVE: A photo of the Kalahari just before departure for Vailima.
We first loaded the locomotive on the one low bed and then the tender on the second low bed.
153 was used to push the Kalahari and tender onto the low beds.
The Kalahari's tender was uncoupled and moved away from the low bed. The locomotive was secured properly with chains and moved away to sleep over in the Sandstone yard, ready for departure early on Wednesday morning.
We departed 06H00 on Wednesday morning, bound for Port Elizabeth.
The first night we slept over at Cradock and we left early Thursday morning for the last section of the journey. This is the greatest, to load a locomotive, take it all the way, operate it and then bring it home again.We arrived at Humewood depot 15H00 the Thursday and we all were very delighted to have the locomotive safe and sound at her destination. Local journalists welcomed us at the Humewood Diesel depot.
After an exhausting trip we took some time off in the afternoon and visited the sea side.
Vrystaaters at the sea!
We offloaded the Kalahari on Friday morning. The Humewood Diesel depot is very well equipped and we could easily offload the locomotive and tender with the help of the friendly Spoornet guys that work there.
A special thanks to all the Spoornet guys at Humewood.
After the locomotive was offloaded, we assembled the tender to the locomotive again. We started with the final touches of the cleaning of the locomotive and got her ready to be steam tested again.
NEXT REPORT: A UPDATE ON THE AVONTUUR ADVENTURER:
RN 83 - Clean up at Avontuur
One of the by products of the forthcoming Avontuur Adventurer is that not only the railway has been cleaned up and reopened, but the Kalahari, No. 147, plinthed at a filling station, has also enjoyed some long overdue attention.
Now looking spick and span following attention from some locals as part of another short term job creation project, it now looks almost as good as Sandstone's No. 17 which is now in Port Elizabeth, and very much better than most of the woebegone examples in long term storage at Humewood Road.
Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News
RN 81 - Weekly steamshed report - 29th July - 4th August 2005
THE DECAUVILLE:The Decauville was steamed on Friday and Saturday. She really steamed her way into everybody's hearts. The little coco pan that was restored recently was coupled to the Decauville and she looked stunning with this little green coco pan.
THE HUNSLET DIESEL LOCOMOTIVE:
Desmond finished the repairs that were needed on the Kalahari. The Kalahari will be steam and tested in next week. She will undergo cosmetically upgrading in next week. The Kalahari is bound for Port Elizabeth on the 17th of this month, and will be assembled at Port Elizabeth again. She will then be steam tested again.
|THE JOURNALIST TRAIN:
NGG 16 number 153 was steamed to work a special train for all the journalists that were flown in by plane to the Ficksburg Airport. The train departed from Vailima 12h00 and arrived at Hoekfontein at 12H20. The journalists were taken on a Farm tour while the train was waiting in Hoekfontein Station for a train ride to Grootdraai later that afternoon.
WINTER STEAM EVENT
It was a cold winter morning in the Eastern Free State, and we fired up the Barclay and NGG 16 Number 153. It was amazing how the atmosphere changed when these giant machines come to life. The smell of steam and oil, the sound of the lightingting dynamo and the first whistle that announced the break of day.
153 worked the photographic train to Vailima Halt and returned to Hoekfontein in time for lunch. The little Decauville and the Barclay were standing in Hoekfontein for the afternoon photo sessions. The Barclay and 153 performed some run pasts between Pandora and Hoekfontein in the afternoon. 153 left for Grootdraai just before sunset.
The Barclay and 153 were steamed again for the Sunday's events and the Barclay took a short train to Grootdraai early the morning, while 153 waited for the return of the Barclay to Hoekfontein. 153 was then used to work a special passenger train to Vailima and back. Driver Pat Ackerman and Fireman Derrick van Zyl manned the engine and returned to Hoekfontein at 11h00. This was the end of the weekend's events and the locomotives were stabled.
SANDSTONE WAGON REPORT
WAGON NUMBER 2436:
WAGON NUMBER 1699:
Derrick is almost finished with the "bunker and tender" part of this wagon. The front part of this wagon will also have a wooden floor and the Britannia will then be fitted to this wagon.
This wagon is loaded with a big boiler and is standing in the wagon shed. This wagon will be offloaded, and Ben will convert it to a flat wagon with a wooden floor as well.
All these wagons due for restoration, will be lined up and sandblasted at once. This will speed up the restoration program by weeks. Bringing back these wagons from scrap to working condition is almost as exciting and rewarding as for locomotives. Some of these wagons really look like a hopeless case at first, but after a few days work, the picture changes. Gold Fields Track is currently busy with the laying of storage lines, and will then be used to store all the restored wagons as well.
All the wagons next to the coal stage will be re-railed and will be taken to some of the sidings on the Farm to wait their turn for restoration.
Here are some photos of wagons restored during this year:
All the wagons and coaches are brought to the shed every two months for brake adjustments and under frame inspection. The wagons are vacuum brake tested every time before they are used and all details of repairs are logged in a logbook available for each wagon
THE COAL EXTRACTOR: (below left)
The coal dust extractor will be finished by the end of next week and will then be used before coaling the locomotives.
WORKSHOP PLANNING: (above right)
We are going to make a gallery inside the workshop, as well as a wall of fame of all our special guests that visit us here at Sandstone Estates.
WAGONS AND LOCOMOTIVES AT ST. HELENA GOLD MINE
They have started with the cutting up of the old hoppers that are not in use anymore. The locomotives will be next and includes the following:
1.) 1 x 19B or 19BR
2.) 2 x 3BR
3.) 3 x 16CR
There is another North British 4-8-2T tank locomotive (NBL 27090/1951) situated at the sports grounds in Allanridge, that is safe and will not be cut up, but a representative at the Mine told me that if someone is interested, it could be purchased.
The Mine approved the buying of two brand new Steam locomotive Dynamo's as well as the conveyor belts that we need in the Vintage shed.
THE 2 FT NARROW GAUGE LINE
We moved steel sleepers and rails to Hoekfontein station this week, for the building of these storage lines.As soon as the tamping of the ballast is completed on the new section from Vailima halt, we shall start with the line cleaning up of the line using the Hunslet Diesel locomotive.
FROM THE PAST
Class 24, number 3635, that worked the last Steam train on the Theunissen to Winburg line in May 1988, with Driver E.J. Seaman, Fireman John Makwena and Loco Inspector Mossie Mostert.
RN 82 - "Verve" supplement from the Star - Article by Winnie Graham
RN 79 - Sandstone Estates appoints trainee steam fitter
Jacob Mathibe, who has worked at Sandstone Estates for some time, has shown considerable aptitude while working with the Steam team in the Running Shed at Hoekfontein. It was noticed that he was showing potential as a fireman on the locomotives, and as a result he has been formally promoted to the position of Trainee Steam Fitter and will be scheduled to study and to take his exams as a fireman under the Spoornet rules and regulations.
We welcome Jacob to the team.
Running Shed Manager
Sandstone Heritage Trust
Eastern Free State
RN 78 - Sandstone Heritage Trust Plans extension to Narrow Gauge Railway SystemHaving completed the last 3-km sector of line which joins Vailima Heights to the main line at Pandora, consideration is being given to a special extension to the line to take it down to the scenic Hoekfontein dam area. This would be a single branch line which would terminate in the area immediately across from the lake (see picture attached). Although only 1.7-kms in length, it opens up a beautiful area of Sandstone Estates hither to unknown to visitors. It will be particularly useful when small industrial and Sugar Cane type locos are deployed simultaneously with larger NGG 16, NGG 13 and NG 15 type locomotives. Traffic levels on the main line can make it difficult to operate smaller trains, and the opening of a special branch line will provide us with the opportunity to effectively offer two experiences at the same time.
The arrival of the 1899 Decauville and the pending arrival of the Kerr Stuart Wren type locomotive in a few weeks time makes this possibility all the more exciting. The company currently does not have sufficient 2-ft narrow gauge sleepers to complete this section but we are currently searching for 1,500 of these. All the other materials are in stock. If anyone knows where narrow gauge sleepers can be obtained we would be most grateful if they could contact Dave Richardson, Cell:082 447 9167
RN 77 - Excerpts from Steam Railway Magazine, UK, April 22 - May 19 2005 - No. 309
RN 76 - Update on Sandstone's new railway line
Track laying is more than three quarters complete on the 3-km extension to the Vailima line. Our pictures show the Sandstone Estates D6 CAT Crawler preparing the track bed, while picture two clearly shows the end result before ballasting. All ballasting will be done by rail, some of it steam hauled.
While all this was happening a Coles crane was loading rail onto our Diamond T with low bed, both of which are over 50-years old.
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