11:55 in Magazine - article by stationmaster
This club is trying to procure brake blocks for GMAM Garratt 4-8-2 + 2-8-4 no 4079.
A new concept being investigated is an evening “around-Johannesburg” steam working similar to Pretoria’s popular Tshwane Xplorer and Rohan Vos’ dinner trains around the city. The club’s New Year’s trip to the KwaZulu Natal South Coast (a far longer distance than Ficksburg and at a reasonable quote) has been fully subscribed, but the quotation by Transnet for the operation of the Cherry Festival run to the Free State, embracing steam traction, had been prohibitive in comparison.
Only one locomotive was used to the annual Cherry Festival, class 15F 4-8-2 no 3046 (see photo). Reduced bookings meant only one meal sitting this year. Sandstone provided watering facilities at Vailima. Class 25NC 4-8-4 no 3472 is now in need of new driving wheels.
Atlantic Rail, Cape Town
In late October, Atlantic Rail scored a corporate train and ran with the North British class 24 2-8-4 no 3655 out to Stellenbosch for Woolworths’ staff. The regular trips to Simon’s Town are the group’s “bread and butter” operations economically and have proved very popular.
Friends of The Rail, Pretoria
This group’s class 19D domeless 4-8-2 locomotive no 2650 required six tubes to be replaced. Ultrasonic testing was undertaken too – the Dolly will not return to running order until the early months of 2012.
Progress, if slow, is nevertheless proving productive to a small degree at this time on class 15CA 4-8-2 no 2850’s restoration. The Friends are looking to put another tender – in superior condition to the existing one – on what is a good set of tender wheels on this particular veteran, North British-built 4-8-2 “Mountain” (works no 24018/1930).
As the year drew to an end, a second potentially tragic day for this club was narrowly averted, again on the short Cullinan branch. In the previous incident class 15F 4-8-2 no 3117 toppled, as reported in this column at the time. On the present occasion, the crew on the footplate of class 24 2-8-4 no 3664, its corporate train in tow, was able to pull up just ahead of a stretch of track from which steel sleepers had been stolen (see photo). This was some 3km from Cullinan. The Tshwane-based club has run out and back on the branch safely since the theft, again using its North British-built class 24.
Rovos Rail, Pretoria
North British class 19D 4-8-2 no 3360 (works no 26080/1948) – named “Shaun”- returned to service in the latter part of 2011 out of this tour operator’s Capital Park hub. Today the only serviceable loco of this class (see photo), it is being used on the popular dinner runs. The previously working 19Ds that rendered admirable service with this upmarket South African tour operator’s services were 1938 Borsig-built nos 2701 and 2702.
Paton’s Country Railway, KwaZulu-Natal
This preservation organisation has inaugurated a Friday evening
run behind its ex-SAR class NGG 11 locomotive no 55 out of Ixopo with pizzas being served to the travelling patrons, and the station pub open for refreshments.
Umgeni Steam Railway, KwaZulu-Natal
Umgeni’s class 19D 4-8-2 no 2685 is looking at requiring more work than initially thought. The rivets that secure the bosses to the firebox have corroded badly and will necessitate replacement. As they cannot be replaced with the firebox in position, alternative methods are being investigated.
Class NGG13 returns to operating order in Switzerland
In 1985, the club SchinznacherBaumschulBahn “SchBB” (a railway based in a tree nursery in Schinznach, Switzerland) purchased ex-SAR 1927, Hanomag-built class NGG13 2-6-2 + 2-6-2 Garratt no 60 from South Africa and commenced restoring the engine to perfection – the locomotive (works no 10551/1927) is now back in steam in glorious condition (see photo, taken in September).
Eritrea tour in March 2012
A steam tour with the Italian-built Mallet locomotives, working hard on the steep gradients between Lessa, Arbaroba, Sheregeni, and Asmarais, is scheduled for March. The safari embraces fine mountain railroading on 950mm gauge. After its success in September 2011, Tanago Tours will return to the most spectacular sections of this unique Eritrean railway.
The tour focuses on the spectacular section from Lessa to Arbaroba, followed by the steep climb into the small station of Sheregeni. Here one will get to enjoy the breath-taking vistas at the “Devil´s Gate”. Just above Sheregeni a marvellous stone-arched bridge offers numerous photographic opportunities, followed by the really steep section with a lot of twists and turns into Asmara at 2,200 metres. There will be night shots at the depot, staged shunting and photography at Asmara station as well as a ride with the Krupp-built diesel locomotive and a set of authentic Krupp freight wagons.
The operational classes of steam and diesel locomotives in Eritrea comprise a sole class 202 (0-4-0 built by Breda), small Mallet no 440.008 (0-4-4-0 built 1915 by Ansaldo), class 442 Mallets (0-4-4-0 built 1938 by Ansaldo) and Krupp diesel no D27 (built 1957). By March it is hoped that the Fiat railcars “Littorina” and “Littorinella” will be in operation too.
Contact Geoff Cooke for more details at: firstname.lastname@example.org