In his foreword to Peter Bagshawe’s useful new book: Locomotives of the Namaqualand Railway & Copper Mines, Charlie Lewis writes: “Having closely observed Peter’s diligence with the books of Alfred County Railway for nearly thirteen years, I can say with confidence that he is not only the ideal railway accountant, but also a really reliable railway historian; for he would never let a single fact, no matter how trivial, go astray. Neither would he let it be published without being cross-checked and verified from several sources.
“This is an extraordinary book about the locomotives of a little-known but quite romantic railway that last saw activity throughout its length about seventy years ago (although a tiny fragment of it remained in use at Port Nolloth until recently). The text is enriched by detailed accounts of incidents that happened throughout the working life of the railway, such as the attempted blowing up of O’Kiep by Boer Commandos in May 1902 (with the aid of a stolen Namaqua Copper Company locomotive and a wagonload of dynamite!). The unearthing of particulars of some of the rarest of locomotive builders, such as Lilleshall of Shropshire and Dick, Kerr of Kilmarnock, has lent fascinating body to what could have been bland locomotive lists. It is thanks to Peter’s tenacious research that we not only know the critical dimensions of most of these engines, but what loads they handled and the operating problems encountered as a result of brackish water, desert sand and extreme heat that prevented the condensing apparatus of the early Kitsons from functioning effectively, as well as how all of these problems were overcome.
Without doubt, Locomotives of the Namaqualand Railway and Copper Mines is destined to be the definitive work on the subject and an essential component of our railway literature.”
In attractive hard-cover format, this profusely illustrated and beautifully printed work is obtainable from the author
at P O Box 12128, Sunwich Port, 4230,
Price: R165 plus R29-50 Postage & Packing (RSA)