The Rabies Rally is an annual motorcycle event for professional people. This year their base was the Fouriesburg Country Inn and the rallyists visited Sandstone as part of the event over the last weekend. A good time was definitely had by all! The visitors enjoyed a tour of the Sandstone Collection, a steam train ride behind NG4 number 16 and an excellent lunch. Our pictures tell the story.
Some of the comments in the Visitors Book
“Groot waardering vir puik instandhouding”
“Fantastic Michael is great”
“Brilliant as usual! Even better” (Jan Smit)
Jan Smit from the organisers sent us the following thankyou mail.
Dear Leigh and Management of Sandstone Estates
We want to make use of this opportunity to thank you sincerely for receiving us and spoiling us at your venue on 3 March 2018.
We have received numerous positive feedback from all the riders and wish to thank you for the way in which you promote our wonderful province and our history, especially in respect of the steam trains.
During July we were privileged to host a visit from Andreas Giller, the Locomotive Archivist from this German museum who has assisted us with a number of photographs and drawings of NGG13 number 49 recently. Andreas was visiting Southern Africa as part of a tour which took him to Zimbabwe on a rail tour and then, joined by his wife Carola, a visit to Namibia. He was keen to visit Sandstone as we have the only restored Hanomag built NGG13 Garratt in South Africa, number 49 from 1928, so prior to his return to Germany he requested a visit to Sandstone to which we gladly obliged.
Hanomag ceased to build steam locomotives in the early 1930’s when that portion of their business was taken over by Henschel.
Hanomag is credited with co designing the NGG13 with the SAR which developed into the NGG16 and was to become the standard narrow-gauge Garratt design for the next 40 years. As they had ceased steam locomotive construction they were to build no more of the type.
Andreas’ visit coincided, unfortunately, with the retubing of number 49 so only the two engine units were at Sandstone. Nevertheless the Sandstone collection never fails to impress and Andreas and Carola marvelled at our other locomotives whilst Andreas was excited to see two Hanomag tractors, one of which was similar to one he learned to drive on many years ago. As a memento of his visit Sandstone presented Andreas with a copy of the book, “Sandstone, the first 10 years”
After a light lunch, keeping to the German theme, O&K no 12691 was steamed for a short run to Grootdraai using one of the newly rebuilt “Little Bess” coaches, “Springbok”. Andreas is an ardent photographer and was able to obtain some great pictures both of the collection and the O&K on its trip in the winter sun. Gert Jubileus, our loco foreman, was on hand and was able to give Andreas a great deal of information on the loco collection.
A locomotive which Andreas had never seen is the GMAM Garratt, a number of which were built by Henschel in 1953 and 1958. On his return to Johannesburg, prior to flying back to Germany, Sandstone took him to visit Reefsteamers in Germiston where Sandstone’s GMAM, number 4079, is based. Another locomotive based at Reefsteamers is the Henschel built Class 25 condenser number 3451, the first of its class, so this was a bonus for his visit. The main attraction though was the boiler unit of the Hanomag built number 49 which is at Reefsteamers for a retube. Many photographs were taken.
The Hanomag/Henschel Museum has a most extensive archive which Andreas oversees and both manufacturers never disposed of any drawings or pictures of the locomotives they have built, for example they have over 500,000 original drawings which Andreas is cataloguing! This attention to detail has rubbed off on Andreas and judging by the number of photographs he took at Sandstone and Reefsteamers, he has added considerably to this number!
Sandstone would like to thank Andreas and Carola for taking time to visit us at Sandstone and view our collection, his comment was that he was overwhelmed by what he saw and our hospitality, from Sandstone’s perspective it was a pleasure to meet him and his wife and to forge a connection with this great museum in Germany.
As part of an ongoing social media programme, Ford has been producing two minute video productions which are aired on social media, particularly Facebook. The productions, which will run to 26 episodes, are of visits to Ford owners and users throughout South Africa and their experiences with Ford products with both modern and older vehicles featured.
The film crew visited Sandstone Estates on July 12th to film our experiences with Ford vehicles which range from a 1915 Model T, a 1930 Model A and various trucks and tractors from the 50’s and 60’s to modern Ford Ranger bakkies. Although Ford is no longer a producer of tractors under its brand name, Sandstone have a number of Ford models from the 50’s that still give sterling service on the farm.
Our 1935 Ford V8 pick up which is unrestored from new and our 1951 Ford F100, which journeyed to the Equator on a rally in 2006, were featured by the film crew.
The final sequence was with one of Canadian Ford military units from WW2 which was driven towards Grootdraai where the film crew met 20 oxen especially inspanned for the occasion. As a tribute to Ford one of the oxen had been named “Ford” for the occasion.
Our picture gallery features the line up of Ford vehicles for the shoot, Alina Halafu, from our farm office being interviewed, filming the Canadian Ford with our 20 Oxen inspanned and finally, “Ford”, our newly named Oxen.
We will keep you posted when the episode, number17, is aired on social media.
The regulator assembly for the NG10 is now complete and ready to be fitted the locomotive. Our pictures from Lukas Nel show the components and in particular the dome assembly for the regulator valve. Work will continue on a number of other items as we approach the steam test of number 61.
The James Hall Museum of Transport will celebrate Madiba’ s Centenary with an open day at the James Hall Museum in Johannesburg on 21st July. Sandstone has a long standing relationship with the museum and we urge you to support this worthy cause. Full details are on the attached flyer.
Frameline have produced a large number of video features for Sandstone since the inception of the Sandstone Railway. A large amount of footage was kept as reference for the Sandstone Archives and has not been previously seen. We shall be showcasing a number of these clips over the next few months and we begin with Sandstone’s visit to Angola in 2003 which resulted in the rescue of a number of locomotives from dereliction including the 1899 Decauville, “Bathala” featured in the link below.
Work continues at Bloemfontein on Phase 1 of the cosmetic restoration of this loco for Transnet. After stripping the locomotive as in our last report attention is now concentrated on descaling the various components. Our pictures from Lukas Nel show work on the cab, tender tank and boiler.