Bloemfontein Shed

Sandstone Heritage Trust, Bloemfontein workshops.

Although Sandstone is reasonably well known as a destination it is less well known that we operate a major locomotive refurbishment programme at our Bloemfontein workshops. This is located in the old Steam Depot which was the home of constant Steam activity for many decades.

Restoration at Bloemfontein

Sandstone recently successfully bid for a Transnet tender to complete Phase 1 of the restoration of two locomotives at Bloemfontein which are destined for the Museum project there. These are ZASM “B” number 230, “Jan Wintervogel” built in 1898, originally from Waterval Boven and Class 4AR number 1555 of 1913 vintage from the Millsite compound. Phase 1 involves stripping the locomotives and thoroughly cleaning all parts before a protective coat of red oxide paint is applied. Work is progressing on the ZASM “B” with the cab and side tanks removed. The tanks have been cleaned and painted as the picture shows. The frames and boiler section will be attended to next. Number 1555 has been reunited with its tender which has had new bearings fitted together with new axle box covers. Once the work is completed on number 230 the team will start on number 1555 which is a much more extensive and bigger (literally) project.

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Sandstone Restoration News

Bloem 16Febr 015

The beginning of 2016 has seen substantial progress on NGG11 No. 52 with the front engine unit completed. Work will now continue on the rear units. The regulator valve is also receiving much attention with all the rods, shackles and glands being readied for repair and new parts fabricated where necessary

Class NGG11 No. 52 - end of year report

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Since our previous update all four valve and piston assemblies have been completed with the bump marks and valve setting done.

Update on NGG11 No. 52 November 2015

Work continues on the motion of No. 52 – all the valves have been set and various steam pipes put in position. As the restoration team is working without drawings this has been a difficult time. As you will see from the pictures below the eccentric rod has been temporarily cut and adjuster placed in the gap to enable the valve settings to be finalised. This is now being removed and the rod welded in to one piece. All the steam pipes are now in position and a new ashpan has been fabricated with additional air vents.

NGG11 No 52 update image 1

The slide valves have been set for lead steam

O&K 11112 now ready for steam trials

Rescued from the Companhia Do Assucar De Angola (CAA), Fazenda Tentativa near Caxito in Angola in 2003, O&K 11112 is now ready for its steam trials at Sandstone.

In South Africa most sugar estates had a rail system, generally of 600mm gauge, but Fazenda Tentativa uniquely operated on 500mm gauge and No. 11112 was one of four locomotives acquired from the location.

Class NGG11 No. 52 moves forward

Hot on the heels of the two completed O&K locomotives, Lukas Nel and his team have made great progress with NGG11 No. 52. The two engine units have been reunited with the main frames after serious issues with frame damage were discovered a few weeks ago. Whilst the Sandstone team were always aware of misalignments at both ends, they turned out to be more serious than originally thought. Large cracks and serious distortion of the frames at the engine pivot points have been repaired using a hydraulic press and modern welding techniques. With the Sandstone philosophy of “nothing is impossible” top of mind, Lukas Nel and his team have worked a miracle to move the restoration forward. The locomotive is now looking like the real thing.

Further work is required on the connecting rods and valve gear together with the main steam piping over the next few months.

The photos by Lukas Nel show No. 52 on the 30th September 2015.

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Update on NGG11 No. 52 September 2015

Despite earlier difficulties with a lack of drawings the restoration of South Africa’s oldest Garratt locomotive continues. The front engine unit has been placed in position for the fabrication of the new connecting rods and valve gear rods. The photograph from Lukas Nel shows No. 52 with the front engine unit in position. The slide valve configuration of this locomotive can be clearly seen by the flat top to the cylinder cover.

Update on NGG11 No. 52 image

Update on O&K 1112 September 2015

Ex-Angola O&K No. 11112 is reaching the end of its restoration and has received a new coat of paint. Work to be completed now is the fitting of the maker’s plates and name plates. The pictures below from Lukas Nel show No. 11112 resplendent in her new livery and with sister loco No. 12140 still in black primer prior to receiving her new coat of paint.

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Update on O&K 0-6-0T 11112/1925

Ex Companhia Do Assucar De Angola

Originally 500mm gauge converted to 600mm gauge

Following on from our last report in June this year, O&K 12140 completed a successful steam test on Friday 21st August.

This locomotive is one of a number of O&K locomotives delivered to this sugar estate in Tentativa, north of Luanda. It was dispatched from Germany in April 1930 and is of the 30hp design. The locomotive was discovered at the estate in Angola during a visit in 2003 by Sandstone Heritage Trust personnel and purchased along with three other locomotives. This is the last locomotive to be restored from the four. The Companhia Do Assucar De Angola was unique among sugar estates in Angola in that it used a 500mm gauge rail system. However, most O&K locos are able to be re-gauged to 600mm if required. The locomotive was shipped to South Africa and the chassis has been given an extensive restoration by Sandstone and converted to 600mm gauge by Lukas Nel and his team in Bloemfontein. The boiler has had a totally rebuilt firebox, with new tubes and tube plates fitted at Keith Steven’s workshop in Howick. The locomotive has now been fitted with a newly fabricated cab, smokebox and all the internal steam pipes have been remade.

OK 12140 August update image 1

12140 in May 2015. Photo by Lukas Nel

Below are two short video clips of 12140 in steam.

Update on O&K 0-6-0T 11112/1925

Ex Companhia Do Assucar De Angola

Originally 500mm gauge converted to 600mm gauge

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