This small tank locomotive is a favourite at Sandstone having been acquired from Port Shepstone in 2003 where it had been abandoned in the bush. It started its life at Port Shepstone in 1916 and then worked on the Estcourt to Weenen Branch. It ended its SAR days as yard shunter at Port Shepstone and was sold to Rustenburg Platinum Mines (RPM) It was bought back from the Mine for preservation by South African Railways when the two foot gauge sytem at RPM was closed 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 where it was abandoned.
Mark Ruddy, a steam driver, from Port Elizabeth (now Gqeberha ) sent us this picture of the NG4 arriving at Humewood Road Depot on a 3’6”gauge DZ wagon for display at the recently opened museum in the mid-80s. Two other pictures show it in the display shed at Humewood Road and hard at work at Sandstone. Our thanks to Mark for permission to use this rare photograph of the NG4.
If you are visiting the Eastern Free State, you may like to choose Sandstone Estates for your accommodation needs.
Sandstone offers accommodation on a working farm which also houses the internationally renowned Sandstone Heritage Trust collection. Various attractions are available to visitors to the farm.
Click here to view our Accommodation Guide for 2021
Brill Buses in days gone by.
Sandstone’s ex SAR Road Transport Services Brill bus has been in the restoration queue for some time and we hope that it will be restored to its former glory in the not too distant future. In the meantime Stewart Curry who is assisting with the digitalisation of the Transnet library send us a wonderful selection of photographs of the Brill bus in days gone by in South Africa. The pictures are courtesy of the Transnet Library.
SAR Brill Motor Coach
SAR Brill Motor Coach Pletenberg Bay
SAR Brill Motor Coach Pletenberg Bay cars
SAR Motor Cach Kango Caves
SAR Motor Coach Drakensberg
SAR Motor Coach Goldern Eagle Royal National Park
SAR Motor Coach highway to Durban
SAR Motor Coach Kango Caves Modern
SAR Motor Coach Kruger Park
SAR Motor Coach Llandudno
SAR Motor Coach louis Trichardt
SAR Motor Coach Marine drive Cape Town
SAR Motor Coach Marine Parade Durban
SAR Motor Coach Oudtshoorn
SAR Motor Coach Paarl
SAR Motor Coach Robinson Pass
SAR Motor Coach Unknown Location
SAR Motor coach Wilderness
SAR Road Transport heavy load Hluhluwe
With its first steaming expected by the end of May, the return to service of NGG16A number 155 is well on track. Recently we received the various plates, including the number plates, for the locomotive which will be fitted shortly. The number plate shows Alfred County Railway as it was this operator who classified number 155 as NGG16A after its extensive modifications in 1990.
Sandstone Heritage Trust and Sandstone Heritage Museum are proud members of the South African Museums Association (SAMA). This organisation does great work across a broad spectrum of museums in South Africa. They have recently published their January 2021, newsletter, Samantics which has some interesting information on the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on museums and also previous pandemics that have infected the world. Click here to see Samantics.
Sadly Covid 19 prevented us from holding our Easter Steam Festival which coincided with the arrival of the Cosmos display at Sandstone. Nevertheless we steamed NG10 number 61 for a train trip for our staff on Easter Monday which enabled us to put together a photo gallery of Cosmos 2021. As always our Oxen were keen to join in! The photographs are by Toni Barratt.
The below photographs are by Gert Jubileus
There are times when acquisitions at Sandstone are sometimes a mystery and we are not always sure what we have got! Recently we acquired this interesting little scraper/drawn grader but were not sure of its history. Crushed into the paint work was a Caterpillar sticker which was a major clue. With assistance from Neil Clydsdale (who visited us at Stars of Sandstone 2019) of the Australian Caterpillar Club, it was identified as a Caterpillar No 1 Terracer with optional front truck and was manufactured sometime between 1931 and 1941.
Caterpillar provide a brief history of this implement on their website which was also supplied without a front truck and today is available as a 1:16 model from Caterpillar for $129-99.
The No. 1 Terracer was introduced in 1931 to help farmers add terraces to their fields. Terracing, a conservation practice used to help reduce soil erosion, became much more common during this time as farmers tried to combat the “Dust Bowl” conditions prevalent during the Great Depression era. Production of the No. 1 Terracer lasted until 1941, making it the most popular and longest running part of a line of Caterpillar® agriculture implements, which included a hay mower, hay rake, and multiple-implement hitch. The gooseneck hitch, coupled directly to the tractor drawbar, made the Terracer more manoeuvrable than traditional pull graders. The No. 1 excelled at filling gullies, clearing fence rows and building irrigation ditches, in addition to terracing. The 1400 lb. weight and 8’ wide blade of the No. 1 made it well suited for Caterpillar Ten, Fifteen, Twenty, Twenty-Two, Twenty-Five, R2 and D2 tractors, as well as tractors of other makes between 10 and 25 drawbar horsepower.