3ft 6" Cape Gauge

6 Class locomotive moved to the Waenhuis at Sandstone

We are very fortunate in having purchased some years ago from the Bethlehem Museum  a wonderful old 6 Class locomotive dating back to 1896.  It is the only surviving Free State Government Railway locomotive that we are aware of and therefore it makes it particularly relevant to the Sandstone Heritage Trust which of course is in the Free State.

Our team of highly enterprising engineering personnel recently manoeuvred the 6 Class loco into position just near the waenhuis where it now heads an interesting line-up of rolling stock including the newly restored postal van.  We will continue to maintain this locomotive to the highest possible level.  We have every hope that one day she will be able to steam along a section of the Eastern Free State railway line.

Well done to Des, Stephan and the team for moving this without difficulty.


Sandstone sells 3'6" rail trolley to Knysna based preservation group


 A Wickham rail trolley that has been in the possession of the Sandstone Heritage Trust for over 10-years has been sold to a preservation group on the Garden Route. Details of the machine are as follows:


Cooperation between Reefsteamers and the Sandstone Heritage Trust continues

Aidan McCarthy, Lee Gates and Philipp Maurer have sent us these excellent pictures of the successful passenger train that visited the Ficksburg area in November last year. One of the more interesting pictures is the agricultural tanker from Sandstone Estates supplying water to one of Reefsteamers locos.

The dysfunctional Ficksburg Municipality was unable to support the passenger train with water from the municipal supplier and so the locomotives had to relocate the 14-kms to Sandstone to receive water.

During the same trip all the locomotives and rolling stock previously housed in the large Sandstone locomotive shed at Ficksburg were relocated to Kommandonek Siding. The entire building was moved on site to the farm.

Our thanks go to Aidan, Lee and Philipp for the interesting and creative photographs.

Photos by Aidan McCarthy


Sandstone's GMAM Lyndie Lou, No. 4079, participates in Open Day at Reefsteamers

Here are some photos from the Reefsteamers open day on Saturday. Pretty impressive line up with four locomotives in steam for the day.
Aidan McCarthy


Old Postal Van

Old Postal Van - Update 12 May 2011

Our postal van is nearing completion.


Barclay Tank Engine and Bessinger diesel relocated to Sandstone Estates

Two locomotives from the abandoned Ficksburg Loco site, namely our Barclay Tank Engine and our Bessinger Diesel, have been relocated to Sandstone Estates.


Sandstone's GMAM has an exercise session in November

On 6th November 2010 Sandstone's GMAM hauled a 16 coach train for Reefsteamers to Magaliesberg.

Andre Van Dyk reports as follows:

This weekend 6 November my Dad and I had the opportunity to be the driver/fireman on the inbound trip from Magaliesburg with the GMAM.

I firstly was impressed when Shaun (outbound driver) had to make a stop on the steepest gradient in the section between Magaliesburg and Vlakdrift, and then pick up the load of 16 coaches with not even slipping. If this was a 15F we would need to push back to Magaliesburg station.


During this week we built 70 meter of 3’6” track panels to extend the storage line at the Coal stage as well as to lay track into the new shed from Town that was moved recently. Before we lay them we needed the panels to load the smaller locomotives in Town that was moved to the Farm this week. The large locomotives will be moved to Kommandonek siding during the Cherry Festival with the use of the Reefsteamers locomotives.

Gert Jubileus has submitted his latest weekly report. 


Click here to view - 1MB PDF (opens in a new window)

Reefsteamers Special - GMAM No. 4079

Sandstone's GMAM, No. 4079, will be showing smaller locos how it is done by hauling a full 600 passenger train for Reefsteamers on 6th November from Johannesburg to Magaliesburg.

Should anyone wish to see this magnificent machine in operation please contact Les Smith whose details appear below.  Better still, why not book on a forthcoming Reefsteamers trip to Magaliesburg.

For further details contact Les Smith at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel: +27 011 478-7787.


Andrew King – Reefsteamers (left), and Wilfred Mole – Sandstone Heritage Trust



Last week a team visited the Chamdor site in Krugersdorp and provided us with a report on their visit.


Click here to view the report - 4MB PDF (opens in a new window)

Gert Jubileus has also submitted a follow-up report on his initial visit.


Click here to view the report - 915KB PDF (opens in a new window)

RN 165 - A day to remember - by C.A. Janisch

Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News

Read the reply from John Ashwell - "RE: A day to remember - by John Ashworth" >>

16th May 2006

On Thursday 27 April 2006 it was dark, chilly and misty as fellow Pretorian Henry Lazenby and myself headed south towards the Free State to witness a special day of steam. The railway maestro himself David Shepherd along with Sandstone were hosting a series of runs with the artist's 15F 3052 "Avril" stationed at Ficksburg. Having never seen steam operate over this section and with future prospects for steam trains here rather bleak this was a chance not to be missed. We broke through the mist near Bethlehem and were soon heading towards Fouriesburg, the rising sun glinting gold off the sandstone cliffs. Around 9am we arrived in the sleepy hollow of Ficksburg, a sharp right turn bringing us into the station. Hearts skipped a beat as we saw 3052 shrouded in steam at the head of her consist. Swinging on board I greeted the intrepid FOTR train crew of Cliff Petzer, Mike Haslam, John Ashworth, John Dadford and Kobus Steyn. All was well on the footplate, the grumbling stoker warming her up and the crew mingling with the diffusing steam as they fussed over the loco.

RN 59 - Sandstone Garratt moves to Rovos Rail

Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News

RN 59 - Sandstone's Garratt moves to Rovos Rail

Sandstone Heritage trust has concluded negotiations with Rovos Rail which will see its GMAM garratt hauling Rovos Rail's Pride of Africa trains in the Pretoria area.
GMAM Garratt no. 4079 was built by Beyer Peacock at their Gorton, Manchester, works in 1956, works no. 7677, one of a batch of 35 which SAR ordered in December 1955, 12 of which were contracted out to the North British Locomotive Co. of Glasgow in order to meet very tight delivery dates.


The GMAM locomotives were fairly advanced for their time having Commonwealth Cast Steel Beds and bogie frames and roller bearings on all axles. Welding was employed extensively in the firebox construction and mechanical lubrication was provided to many places. In order to keep weight down the main water supply was carried in an auxiliary tank.
Having a light axle load they found widespread use around the system in particular on lines from Mason's Mill in Natal, at Worcester in the Western Cape and on the Vryburg to Mafeking line. Other strongholds were the Eastern Cape for the Montagu and Lootsberg passes and the Eastern Transvaal lines from Waterval Boven and Breyten to Vryheid in Natal. Some were even hired to Zimbabwe and Mozambique during times of motive power shortages in these neighbouring countries.

On completion of its SAR service 4079 was purchased by Randfontein Estates Gold Mine and became part of their large fleet of similar locomotives. Following the dieselization of most of the system the locomotive fleet was stored at the locomotive depot until 1997 when Sandstone Heritage Trust purchased three locomotives 4079, 4088 and 4114. 4079 was in the best condition and was overhauled by the ex REGM foreman and other Sandstone staff at the REGM workshop, the work being completed in 1998 when the locomotive was steamed to its new Eastern Free State home at Ficksburg.
Since then it has seen little use and is in excellent condition. Rather than just let it deteriorate it is being transferred to the Rovos Rail headquarters at Capital Park in Pretoria and after boiler certification, mechanical inspection and repainting in Rovos Rail corporate colours it will haul the Pride of Africa in the Pretoria area and become a worthy stablemate to the Rovos Rail 25NC, 19Ds and 6 Class.

82 - South African Railways Class 15F 4-8-2

Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News
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South African Railways Class 15F 4-8-2

Updated - 15th May 2006

This class of locomotive was the most numerous on South African Railways with 255 built by various manufacturers between 1938 and 1948. Included was an order to Beyer Peacock in 1944 whereby, the then Minister of Transport, the Hon. FC Sturrock, journeyed to Britain to make representations to the British Government for the order to be accepted when loco manufacturers were concentrating on munitions and the war effort.

83 - South African Railways Class 19D 4-8-2

Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News
<< Back to Locomotive information and galleries

Updated - 15th May 2006

Next to the ubiquitous Class 15F, with 255 examples, the Class19D, with 235 units built, is probably the best known of all South African engines. Designed as a branch line locomotive, the 19D was the last development of the 19 series which began with four locomotives ordered in 1928.

The 16CR Story - Pacific's from the past!

The 16CR Story - Pacific's from the past!

Sandstone’s 16CR has attracted quite a lot of publicity recently, particularly from Model makers.

Gert Jubileus has produced a nostalgic review of our loco.

The evidence of their existence is slowly fading away but never will the good old memories of spending years and years on their footplates.



Click here to view the article - 1MB PDF (opens in a new window)