20th April 2010

Assembled and ready to work at Sandstone Estates.


15th April 2010

No. 88 has left Bloemfontein and is now on the farm.





18th March 2010

This locomotive, which is now all but complete, is due to move to Sandstone Estates at the end of March.



 12th March 2010

The makers plate and the original South African Railways number plates are now ready for NGG16, No. 88.


The makers plate had to be specially made as per the original, while one of the original SAR plates is from the loco itself, and another one has been made from that original.



1st March 2010

Lukas Nel reports that NGG11, No. 88 is really coming together in its final stages. The interior of the cab is now complete with the exception of the seats. These excellent pictures say it all.





Lukas and his team have started the hydraulic tests on the complete locomotive. The pumps they use deliver 6,000 gallons of water per hour at a pressure of 100 psi. The rubber pipe which connects the water from the cistern is visible in the photo below. A number of faults were detected and testing may take up to two weeks before all defects are resolved. It is possible to test every part of the locomotive which handles steam using this process.



5th February 2010

Herewith latest photographs of the continued progress on NGG 16, No. 88.





30th November 2009

The front end of locomotive sandboxes and headlight has been fabricated and fitted with a sealed beam light...



Our photos show inside of cab. Still some vital spares are still being sourced to complete the inside of the cab...



16th November 2009

Injector copper piping now fitted.



19th October 2009

We fitted the new lubricator and various other copper pipes alongside the left hand side of the boiler. Also the main water feed pipe was fabricated and fitted.


12th October 2009

Attach a photo of the right side copper pipes we fitted. We had to synchronies the two locomotive front ends on the Garratt by determining the lengths of the connecting rods which were cut by a gas flame when stripped. Lukas A Nel.



28th September 2009

Livery of NGG 16, No. 88.

With this locomotive rapidly nearly completion we are considering its final livery. It will be finished in green, as per a condition of its purchase by ourselves from the original owner. However, in terms of markings we are indebted to David Payling for the following update:

"The following is an extract from the forthcoming article about SAR narrow gauge liveries which will appear shortly in Continental Modeller magazine. There are photographs both of the engine in SAR green livery and in the darker panelled lined green of the ACR. I will send copies of the photos of each, separately, as soon as possible.

........Despite its workshop overhaul and new green livery, the use of No.110 on the Banana Express was replaced by No.88 (Cockerill, 1936) whilst No.110 returned to its original black livery. The enhancement of No.88 now went beyond its new all-over mid-green livery. It was additionally equipped with a polished brass dome cover. There was also a cast Banana Express headboard with a red background, plus a large transfer of the "wheel and wing" SAR logo. Small cast plates on the cabside, tank and bunker ends carried the name "Snowy," a reference to the Port Shepstone stationmaster whose prematurely white hair had earned him this nickname!

In 1987 the management of the line was taken over by the newly formed Alfred County Railway Co. and this became the occasion for further livery changes. The first to appear was a deep red livery applied to No.116 (Beyer Peacock, 1939) and, eventually, to No.140 (Beyer Peacock, 1958) and, briefly, No.155 (Hunslet Taylor, 1968). The livery is said to have been inspired by that carried by locomotives of East African Railways. The red panelling of the locomotive was edged with yellow lining over a black background. For the Banana Express, No.88 was now repainted into a deeper green livery, panelled/edged in red against a black background. It is believed to have been inspired by the then Ffestiniog Railway locomotive livery. The brass dome cover was retained as were the cast headboards. The name, however, changed to "Judy" after the wife of the locomotive's new owner, Dave Stainer.......

I do not have dimensional information about the livery and lettering but hope that your colleagues can deduce the heart of the styling, whether SAR/SAS or ACR. I believe that the brass dome cover (I wonder who made this very nice piece of brasswork back in the early 1980s?)is currently carried by NGG13 No.49 at Sandstone.

This information has been taken into account and we are considering our options.


By 1986 No.110 had been ousted from its Banana Express work, the turn having been taken over by No.88 (1936) in a rather darker green livery complete with brass dome and headboards. (Errol Ashwell)

After 1986 the Alfred County Railway Co. took over the operation of the Banana Express and No.88 was turned out in a darker green panelled livery and a new name, "Judy." (Peter Sinclair)

10th September 2009

Lucas has sent this picture of progress being made inside drivers cab.


7th August 2009

Updated pictures from Lucas of cab work coming together.



28th July 2009

We start out with the locomotive cab this week. Attach the new roof and some spares replaced on the boiler back head...



15th July 2009

Lukas and his team have started with repairs to the coalbunker and watertanks. Photos show coalbunker and grate shaker operating cylinder...



8th June 2009

The two ends of NGG16 number 88 are receiving attention. Repairs were done to the cow catchers and buffer beams.



1st June 2009

Work on No. 88 is concentrated on the cab and cab fittings. Our photographs show a photo of the cab with windows fitted. In the second photograph Tinus is fabricating the brackets for the driver seats...



17th April 2009

Lucas Nel and his team are making steady progress..

Our picture shows the water tender of NGG88. The Bloemfontein team fabricated the sandboxes from scratch as the old one was completely destroyed by rust.


30th March 2009

We put the ends in position to enable us to fabricate and set all in between couplings and pipes.



16th March 2009

Lukas reports as follows..

As we had to renew most of the steel steam and exhaust steam pipes on the locomotive we had to assemble the locomotive as a complete unit on one rail so we had to borrow the equipment from Spoornet for two days to make this moves. Very time and energy consuming but we finished the job.

Moving the number two end to the same rail as the boiler with some expensive breakdown equipment.


23rd February 2009

As is often the case with NG loco rebuilds it is necessary to make a complete new cab for the loco as one can see from the attached, No 88 is no exception...



The cab, cab roof and boiler cladding are now fitted.



13th February 2009

These two photos show the substantial amount of steel fabrication that has to be done to make sure that this locomotive will perform well for years to come. The Bloemfontein crew had to almost totally rebuild the complete water and coal bunker and fabricate the new internal steam pipe from certified material.



8th December 2008

Another project underway at Bloemfontein with Lukas Nel and his team is the restoration of Cockerill built NGG16 No: 88. This locomotive was used in the early days of the Alfred County Railway and spent its entire life on the branch after delivery in 1937. Sandstone purchased the locomotive from a private collector in 2002. No: 88 has the distinction of hauling the first revenue earning train for ACR on the 1st April 1988 where it is shown crossing with The Umgeni Limited tour train at Izotsha, on its way to Port Shepstone. No: 116, of course, is under restoration at Ixopo for its owners.

As the main line tour train left Port Shepstone on 2nd April, No: 88 posed for a parting shot with its larger electric counterpart.

Although the restoration is a lower priority at Bloemfontein , Lukas Nel and his team put No: 88 through a successful boiler hydraulic test early in December.

For further information on the Cockerill built NGG16 locomotives have a look at a previous articles here; NGG_16_No_86 and here; NGG 16 no 88 engine units rebuild

NGG16 No 88 at Port Shepstone 2 April 1988

NGG16 No 88 crosses NGG16 No 116 at Izotsha with the first ACR revenue earning train 1 April 1988

NGG16 N0 88 under restoration at Bloemfontein

No 88's boiler after the hydraulic inspection