2ft Narrow Gauge

Sandstone Estates Steam Railway News 18 July 2016

We now have started full time with the earthmoving work that is needed before we can construct the new 2,49Km tracks. Des and his people did a excellent job this week in widening the dam wall as well as opening the road through the Forest.

Sandstone Estates Steam Railway News 18 July 2016

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Hoekfontein workshop update wagon and carriage restorations.

A number of DZ's have been taken out of our salvage yard and are being restored to full operating condition. In addition two more open passenger units are being completed to bring our consist up to four. These are typically used with our little Decauville, Bathala, and our Kerr Stuart locomotive, Little Bess. We have been a bit light with regard to proper DZ consists and we have had inadequate passenger coach accommodation for the small locomotives.

27.09.13 014

Railway History Group

Wren Locos

By Robin Lake in South Africa 

There are a couple of tenuous leads pointing to the possibility of Kerr, Stuart & Co Ltd “Wren” class locomotives being used on the fourteen kilometre long 60 cm gauge service line laid from Brits West to Hartbeespoort Dam during the building of the latter over 1918-1925.

In 1921 the Director of Irrigation reported that in March of that year two steam locomotives were secured “from the Air Force Authorities” for use on the line. 

From KS records we know that four Wrens were consigned to “SAR Delagoa Bay” (no date given but before 1930), namely works numbers 4006, 4013, 4014 and 4015. This is gleaned from a manuscript entry alongside these numbers in the KS engine register. However, the KS shipping specification ledgers bear no evidence of such a consignment. This suggests that some party other than KS arranged the export of these four Wrens.

Update on the Sandstone Narrow Gauge network

The team from Flint Construction will be back for 4-months laying additional lines and repairing sections that are not entirely up to specification.  They started work laying storage lines into the new section of the 2-ft Narrow Gauge storage building which is now very substantial.  We will in fact have far more accommodation than we have items to put under cover but no doubt the inventory will change over time.

Our ability to continue with our track laying programme is entirely due to the close cooperation we receive from Transnet with regard to the purchase of surplus Narrow Gauge turnouts from the Port Shepstone yard that is currently being dismantled.



Lawley NG6, No. 233

Update from Lukas Nel – 30 July 2012

We beat all the tube ends in the firebox and intend to start the hydraulic testing of the boiler on 2nd August. We set one week aside to complete the hydraulic testing of the boiler. We still need to replace the smoke box front of the locomotive boiler and fit the smoke box door before we can start repairs to the faulty injectors and the bad slipping of the locomotive.

Below are two photos of the finished product of the beating of the tube ends of the firebox side of the boiler.



Progress report on Avonside, No. 1624

Simultaneously with the major NGG11 restoration  work continues on the Avonside No. 1624.

The photographs below show the broken frames which are being rebuilt.  Both of them are badly damaged and bent.



Archive photos of NGG11, No. 54

NGG11, No. 54 was moved to the Sandstone Heritage Trust for safekeeping.  We have had good support from people around the world who have previous recollections of this locomotive and who have taken photographs of it.  Here are some excellent pictures sent to us by John Middleton to whom we are indebted for his assistance.

SANRASM Avonside No. 1624

Gary Barnes has supplied the following pictures of what the loco was like shortly before it went to SANRASM. Like most things they touched it was all downhill from there.


SANRASM O&K No. 12691

We have had tremendous support from Karlheinz Rohrwild and other members of the Feldbahn Museum.  See: www.feldbahn500.de.

With respect to locomotive No. 12691, Karlheinz sent us the following information: 


From: Rohrwild, Karlheinz [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 29 June 2011 09:11
Subject: AW: Bloem.SANRASM O&K Locomotive 

Here are the O&K plates over the years. Take a look at the second last in the middle row.


NGG11, No. 54, arrives from Port Elizabeth

image003Resulting from discussions with the Apple Express and with HRASA the lend/lease loco, NGG11, No. 54, has arrived from Port Elizabeth on two of Sandstone's low beds. The object of the exercise is to place this locomotive in safe, undercover, dry storage in the non-humid environment of the Eastern Free State. Engineering work will be carried out on the locomotive to ensure that the extensive rust that has reduced this locomotive to a very unsatisfactory state is arrested immediately.


NG/G16 No.88 in 1976

Terry O'Connor, one of our web site visitors, kindly sent us the following information on No. 88:

From: Terry O'Connor [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 10 May 2010 22:51
Subject: NG/G16 No.88 in 1976

Hi there,

No. 88

Having visited your Sandstone Heritage website, & seen that 'NG/G16 88' is undergoing refurbishment, I recalled having seen & photographed this particular NG G16 at Port Shepstone.

There is a low-res version of an image attached here. It is 'Photoshopped' from one of my 33-year old transparencies.


Sandstone Heritage Trust announces locomotive restoration

Sandstone Heritage Trust announces locomotive restoration.

An extremely rare 1905 Arn Jung locomotive, No. 847, ex Angola, has entered the refurbishment programme at Sandstone Heritage Trust Bloemfontein workshops.  A new boiler has been commissioned and the rebuild will take place during 2012.

The Arn Jung (Arnold Jung, the Arn is  a short form for the surname to fit the whole name on the plates) locomotive is significant in terms of global 2-ft Narrow Gauge preservation.  847 is  special as it has – by German standards – a very rare wheelbase 0-2-1.

It is 30 HP – 600 mm gauge - outside frame half open driver’s cabin.

It was sold on 19.06.1905 via the dealer Arthur Koppel, Berlin (who also was loco manufacturer himself) to sugarcane plantation "Bom Jesus" in Angola. It was named "Cazengo". It was rescued in derelect condition by the Sandstone Heritage trust from the sugar mill site in Angola in Feb 2003.

Last of the NG locos moves from SANRASM Randfontein site to Sandstone Estates

Over the Easter Holidays a team from Sandstone proceeded to SANRASM with two trucks to load a NGG13 Garratt. 

The loco is NGG 13 no. 58, built by Hanomag in 1927, works no. 10549. Although not the lowest SAR number (that honour fell to No. 49) it was actually the first built of the class. It worked on the Estcourt Weenen line and was donated to SANRASM when that line closed. It sat at Estcourt for more than 20 years before finally going to SANRASM's site.

It will now join a host of similar locos and enjoy under cover secure storage pending a decision as to its future.

No. 49 is one of the fleet of four working NGG series locos at Sandstone.


The Narrow Guage Railway Sandstone Steam Railroad - The Narrow Gauge Railway

More than 100,000 railway wagons of various types have been cut up by scrap dealers over the past few years in South Africa. Thousands of kilometres of rail have been abandoned and in many cases lifted and sold for scrap. Sandstone Estates is heavily involved in rail in two areas. Firstly, virtually all the company's primary commodities ship out by rail and the company is critically dependent on a viable 3'6" mainline rail network to take its commodities to market.

This scrapping programme has limited the availability of DZ and FZ trucks, which are often in short supply. In addition, the company has had to suspend the construction of its 2-ft narrow gauge rail line which connects the silos at Hoekfontein to its mainline loading and offloading depot at Vailima, which is one of the agricultural sidings on the Bloemfontein / Bethlehem line.

We appeal to the authorities to stop cutting up wagons and railway line and to arrest the deterioration in the rail infrastructure in South Africa. We appeal to them to recognise that a well-managed rail network is a vital component in the healthy growth and development of an agricultural an industrial economy such as South Africa's.




The Hoekfontein Shunting yard is very near completion and the last days we build another 60 meter of NG panels that was laid in Hoekfontein yard line 2. The first line is about 250 meter long and the second line is now 100 meters. The first 100 meters of line 2 will be ballasted in next week and will also be lifted and packed, the rest of the line will be laid near the end of January.

Gert Jubileus has submitted his latest weekly report.


Click here to view the report - 1.54MB PDF (opens in new window)