While work continues on the boiler in Pretoria, Gert Jubileus and his team have been busy at the Sandstone restoration facility. The overhaul of the engine units for number 155 has begun as our picture gallery shows. The bearings proved to be in great condition and all the components have been stripped from the frames and thoroughly cleaned. The loco has been out of service since 2000 when its boiler ticket expired at ACR so 20 years of accumulated grime had to be removed.
The front tank which was removed from the loco on arrival at Sandstone in 2002 has been brought up to the workshop for refurbishment. The loco will be turned out in its original red livery when the restoration is complete.
Accommodation at Sandstone
Whether you are a day visitor to Sandstone to view our heritage collection or looking for affordable accommodation while visiting the Eastern Free State, Sandstone can offer self-catering accommodation in our Victorian Cottages for up to 24 people. The Victorian Cottages can sleep four in two twin bedded rooms and have a kitchen and bathroom with shower.
Pricing is R1771-00 per cottage per night, inclusive of VAT.
Our Railway Cottages offer accommodation only for 8 people in twin bedded single rooms with a bathroom with shower. Meals can be arranged at the Waenhuis in the main complex of Sandstone. Pricing is R295-00 per person per night inclusive of VAT.
We can also offer camping on site with pre-paid electricity for our visitors. A modern fully equipped ablution block is on site. Pricing is R380.00 per stand per night inclusive of VAT.
Read more for contact details and the weekend’s attractions.
Preparatory work on the boiler of number 155 has begun in Pretoria with the old tubes being removed and the tube plates and boiler internals thoroughly cleaned. We now have the specifications for the Gas Producer Combustion System (GPCS) inlets on each side of the firebox which comprise a hollow boiler stay with a steel insert. At each outer end are “swirler” plates which rotate the air entering the firebox above the fire bed. Amazingly we have located a number of new ones in the Sandston store which must have arrived with 155 so many years ago that they were forgotten! Our picture gallery shows arrival in Pretoria and work on removing the tubes and cleaning the boiler in preparation for the retube.
After many years of debate Sandstone Heritage Trust has put the wheels in motion for the restoration of the modified 2ft narrow gauge Garratt Class NGG16 number 155.
Click here to read more
British Heritage Journalist, John Titlow, was an enthusiastic visitor to Stars of Sandstone 2019 and has written a number of articles for the British Heritage press. The February 2020 edition of Buses magazine has a story on Sandstone’s ex Welkom Bristol bus with some interesting new facts on the vehicle.
Click the links to Read More: Busses 1 & Busses 2
Sandstone Heritage Trust has an ongoing dialogue with this famous narrow gauge railway in Wales. Nominally referred to as 2ft gauge (610mm as in Sandstone’s case) it is in fact 1ft 11 3/4in (603mm). It was the last steam operated portion of British Rail before being privatised in 1989. We were sad to hear of the passing of one of the original owners recently, Peter Rampton. A somewhat controversial character in preservation circles, he built up a massive collection of narrow gauge locomotives and equipment over the years, much of which was never open to the public. In this collection was a South African connection in the form of NGG13 number 60 and two Lawley locomotives, BR27 and BR28, sisters to the two similar locomotives at Sandstone. Both were acquired from Buzi Sugar in Mozambique. The Vale of Rheidol has produced a magnificent newsletter as a trubute to Peter Rampton for you to enjoy. Click here to read.
Held one week later than usual in November 2019, the annual Cherry Festival in Ficksburg was a great success. Sandstone joined the event by running a train service on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd for visitors. Two private charters were also run on Thursday 21st for two school groups and a Senior Citizens Tour group. Visitor numbers over the three days totalled almost 1000 boosted by groups from JB Tours and Savannah Tours.
NGG16 Garratts numbers 88 and 153 provided the motive power for the duration with visiting driver Andries Keyser from the Winelands Light Railway joining Sandstone’s Gert Jubileus at the regulator. Trains ran between Hoekfontein, Grootdraai and Mooihoek for a 50 minute round trip between 10h00 and 16h00 on each day. Sandstone also displayed some of its heritage collection and the famous Sandstone oxen were on hand to give Ox Wagon rides. Our photo gallery shows a good time was had by all our visitors!