Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News

RN 53 - Weekly Report - 13 - 19 May 2005 - The David Rodgers Tour



All the locomotives that were used on the David Rodgers tour were cleaned. The wash out plugs were fitted back and the boilers were filled. Des and Arno loaded wood at Pandora and Petrus chopped them into suitable pieces. The fireboxes were packed with wood and coal for lighting up on Thursday morning.

Des has almost finished the new slide bar and will then machine the crosshead slippers to fit on the slide bar. The milling machine runs all the time and it takes time to machine all these parts to perfection. This will be finished and fitted by Thursday and we shall then do the valve setting again on the left side. The Barclay will be steamed and tested again.
The Barclay's slide bar in its final forming stage.

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49 were steamed for the David Rodgers tour. We neede to fit flexible pipes between the units, for the copper pipes kept breaking off, due to the movement between the units and the boiler. The springs on this locomotive needed to be taken off and sent away to retension them. We spaced all the springs to enable the frame to lift away from the wheels, but they kept on collapsing which resulted in the frame moving down. The pony wheel flanges barely cleared the frame and in some cases where there was an uneven part of rail track, it stuck and this was extremely dangerous and could have led to derailment on a curve.

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The wheels were collected last Friday. Piet Viljoen from Denrus Engineering phoned me and stated that the inner wheel bearings are defected and some housings are cracked. The crank pins are oval and cannot be machined anymore, because the pins will then be to narrow. The new crank pins will cost R1050.00 each. When the wheels return with the new crank pins, Des can start to machine the bushes. The good news is that it could be possible to use the old bushes again, for the new crank pins will be bigger than before. There is still two weeks left before the wheels will be finished.

Oupa finished the paintwork on the 16CR and will start with the little diesel locomotives outside

We shall start the building of the storage line next week and will move the 10CR to the station before next Friday.

It is actually sad that we cannot operate these locomotives.

3'6" WAGONS:
We are going to offload the 3'6" wagon from Gumtree, to free the flat wagon that is next due for restoration. I just wonder what kind of wagon this 3'6" wagon was, and would like to restore it to the original order.

B wagon 2926 was used on the David Rodgers tour and gave no problems at all.

Ben finished the PE coach windows and fitted them. We actually need to paint the other PE coach as well, for it was difficult to get the same cream paint. There is slightly a difference between the two and would like to have both of them identical.

The two handrails were fitted to the Dining Car.

Des fitted the new clutch kit and it works great The Wickham is completed.
Des will be finish with the slide bar and crosshead slipper by Thursday and will then start with the BSA again.

All the acid arrived last Monday with Leon. We offloaded the acid and softener tanks. Derrick is busy making little houses for the protection of the softeners at the water columns. As soon as he is finished, it will be fitted and the chemicals will be added.
The black water tank train wagon will be used for the acid wash and all the acids used in a boiler will be circulated back into this tank for reuse till all the boilers is acid washed.
The Kalahari will be the first locomotive to acid wash.

We started on Monday with the preparations for the David Rodgers tour. All the wagons that we used were vacuum brake tested and inspected. All the oil cans were cleaned, painted and filled with oil prior to the David Rodgers tour. Clean oil is keeping a locomotives heart beating like a clock.

All the wash out plugs were replaced and the boilers were filled with water.

 We steamed 113 on Tuesday to get all the locomotives at the coal shed for coal.


113 was steamed again on Wednesday to shunt all the consists for Thursday. All the locomotives were cleaned with a bit of diesel and waste. Oupa also cleaned all the steam tractors and stationary engines.
We tested the new line with 113 and found it to be safe at reasonable speeds.

Jemina, Petrus and Oupa cleaned all the locomotives. They kept the shed cleaned during the two days of the tour and really did a great job.

The roller was steamed as well and Chris Wilson and Arno operated it for the photographers.

All the steam guys were on duty at 01h00 the morning. A big cloud of smoke was hanging over the shed. At 06h00 the Kalahari and 113 left the shed and coupled to the two consists in Hoekfontein station.
The Lawley left the shed at 11h00 and coupled to its wagons for a train trip to Grootdraai in the afternoon.
All went well and the locomotives were back in the shed at 18h30.

We left the shed early this morning at 04h30 and coupled to our train in Hoekfontein station. We departed at 06h10 for Grootdraai with the Kalahari and waited for sunrise. While we were busy with the photo run pasts at Grootdraai, 113 and 49 left the Station for photo run pasts at Mooihoek station.
The Steam crane was steamed, but suffered from injector failure and the fire was dropped.

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The best part of the day was the double header to Vailima. This train departed at 14h25 for Vailima with 113 and 49. Locomotive 49 returned light loco to the shed, while 113 performed run pasts on the Vailima ext line. They were busy till dusk and returned to Vailima just after 18h00.
A special thanks to all the kindliness of the photographers, I think we all did enjoy the two steam days. This is really a part of my life that I missed the most, everyday working steam!
I also want to thank Pat Ackerman and Shaun Ackerman for assisting as drivers for these two days. It really means a lot for me to specially have the two brothers as volunteers.

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