Railway Heritage

Excess B Bogies

We have a number for sale. They can be purchased restored or as is...all with bearings.


Rail from Port Shepstone


A second load of turnouts have arrived from Port Shepstone.




Those who attended Kalahari sunrise will have seen gaps in our line due to lack of suitable turnouts.

As a result of protracted negotiations with Transnet we were able to purchase 15 sets of high quality original SAR points, both left and right from the now mostly demolished Port Shepstone yard. This was the original home of the Alfred County Railway.

Our pictures show the shipment being offloaded on the farm.





The last of the NG tankers arrives on the farm... a sorry sight but it will eventually emerge in all its glory.








One of our loyal supporters, John Talbot from the UK, has sent us this philosophical comment.

Thanks John, it is comments like this that make us even more enthusiastic about what we do.









Click here to see the full size image (JPEG 623 KB)

A working day at Sandstone 11/6/2012

 Agriculture and Steam...

ST Wagons Arrive

The second load has arrived from Harding.

This comprises a valuable NG Tanker. We have a total of six on the farm. With this good one and a badly rusted example from Port Shepstone we will end up with eight.

One needs to be permanently seconded to NGG11 in Bloemfontein due to its limited water capacity.

We expect to make about six round trips to Port Shepstone Harding line...a round trip distance of about 1400 kms.








The two interesting wagons from Harding have arrived - no 302 and 303.  See photos below.












We have received some feedback from our readers:

Dear Sandstone

Attached is the background to the trucks. No 302 and 303. Click here to read this (PDF 93KB)

Incidentally, from conversation with Peter Bagshaw I believe one 4 wheeled tread steered truck may survive, from a derailment at km 104 near Wetherby. In the wilds up there it may well still be in one piece


Phil Girdlestone


I am not sure if my previous email went through with my text so am trying another way.

This photo of a wagon ST 302 at Harding which I extracted from your recent news on tender winning is very interesting.

The bogie appears to be something else other than the normal friction bearing arch bar or Bettendorf style bogie found on SAR rolling stock. It appears to have a roller bearing and what looks like rubber shear pads similar to that on SAR’s Sheffel radial/self steering axle bogies.

I know ACR had a couple of experimental timber wagons using a radial axle design developed by well known SA railway consulting engineer Murray Frans . The idea being to reduce train drag and hence increase train payloads.

You may well have dropped in your line and caught a very interesting fish indeed. No doubt once the wagon is recovered a better idea will be known.


Peter Micenko



Thanks for the photos, and a special thanks for saving 302 for posterity. I think Peter Micenko summed it up very nicely when he said “You may well have dropped in your line and caught a very interesting fish indeed.” 

By the way, were the stanchions missing, or had they been dismantled for the journey?  When I was last in Harding (2007) the stanchions were still intact. 


Peter Bagshawe

The Sandstone Heritage Trust - a pictorial souvenir

Dennis Moore has released a new book in a smaller square format. More information and a full preview of the book is available by clicking on the link below.


Click here for more information

Sandstone Estates wins tender to recover freight wagons from Port Shepstone from the Alfred Country Railway Port Shepstone to Harding line.

A number of freight wagons have come out on tender.  Most of them are flats and timber wagons but there are a few interesting items. These include two tankers – one at Port Shepstone which is in a very poor state.  The tanker is located in a difficult place to try and remove.  It will require some sort of earth moving machine to drive it through a swamp and onto a line that is completely overgrown by trees.  We are currently contemplating whether it is actually practical to move this item or not.


There is also a caboose at Harding which is in a very poor state but we have purchased it and we are contemplating whether it is worth investing in the transport to recover it.


The items at Harding actually look very good.  We are renting a roll back truck to recover the items.The tanker is located in a lumber yard with some logs that are in the way. We have contacted Douglas Vanaaswegen from R&B timbers and he will remove the logs for us when we have to load. We do not think the low bed will be able to enter the area where the tanker is situated as there is only one entrance and it is very small with drainage ditches on both sides. The truck will have to make a 90 degree turn to the entrance with very limited space.

The two flat wagons are also in some thick bush.  We will have to pull the wagons with a cable onto a road to be able to load them.

14052012294Timber trucks at Harding. 

14052012295The tanker at Harding

The photos below show a close-up of the state of these items that have been abandoned for many years now.





Further Progress on Lounge Car

Now that the Kalahari Sunrise event is behind us our team is able to concentrate on the construction and fitting out of our Lounge car.


This Lounge car is not based on any design that was inherited from any other railway.  We would love to have built an Otavi wagon but that meant it would have been out of character with the rest of our passenger stock. The Lounge car started live as a Guards Van and will retain the same roof.  The configuration is a proper lounge with good quality upholstery with 3 windows on either side and one at the end.  This will be very comfortable and warm during the high altitude Free State winters.  The other half of the Lounge car is an open balcony section which is more for standing on but a few easy chairs might well be deployed. 

The photograph below shows the end of the open balcony section looking into Sandstone’s main running shop.  The sides will have brass gates with a brass railing at the end.  Access will be from both sides.


The photograph below shows the interior of the Lounge car.  We have some very nice interior design features which will be incorporated.  It will be partly panelled and partly wall papered.


Wouter Jubileus has been doing all the work.  He is standing in the open balcony section which leads into the closed lounge area.



We have had a quick response to our appeal.  One of these useful Coco pans which we are trying to acquire to put a proper industrial/construction consist together has appeared on someone’s sidewalk on the East Rand in Johannesburg as shown in the picture below.



We are looking for a number of items at the Sandstone Heritage Trust to complement our activities. The first is we are trying to collect a number of Coco Pans.  The picture below shows exactly what we are looking for.




Old signs, whether they be farm signs, machinery signs, or just about any sign that might have given some hint of some activity or other that might have been taking place 30, 40 or 50 years ago would be appreciated.  We have extensive buildings and facilities and we like to add character to them so please feel free to point us in the right direction.