NGG16A number 155 has undergone its first steam test at Sandstone after an 18 month restoration process that began in January 2020 with the boiler being sent to Wonder Steam in Pretoria. On the return of the boiler in June 2020, Gert Jubileus and his team at Sandstone began the restoration. Using the modified engine units donated by the owners of the other NGG16A, number 141, Phil Mortimer senior and Phil Mortimer junior the locomotive has been assembled over the last twelve months. Most parts were sourced from the spares that Sandstone has acquired over the years but with the special nature of 155, many pieces had to be made up. This was particularly difficult with the very different copper piping required for the modified 155 but on 11th June 2021, number 155 steamed for the first time in 17 years. This was a test for the integrity of the boiler tubes and stays which all passed inspection. Now the brick arch will be assembled and fitted into the firebox ready for a road test on the Sandstone Steam Railway. This is the first locomotive rebuilt at Sandstone since the closure of the Bloemfontein Works facility in 2019 and only the third locomotive rebuilt at Sandstone’s Hoekfontein Workshop since Lawley BR7 and Fowler number 14316 in April 2002 and the 30th steam locomotive restored by Sandstone. A major milestone for the Sandstone Steam Railway!
Our gallery shows the test with the locomotive now fitted with its number plates.
This small tank locomotive is a favourite at Sandstone having been acquired from Port Shepstone in 2003 where it had been abandoned in the bush. It started its life at Port Shepstone in 1916 and then worked on the Estcourt to Weenen Branch. It ended its SAR days as yard shunter at Port Shepstone and was sold to Rustenburg Platinum Mines (RPM) It was bought back from the Mine for preservation by South African Railways when the two foot gauge sytem at RPM was closed around 1967. From then on the locomotive did an extensive tour of South Africa. It was first stored at De Aar depot and then moved to Milner Park in Johannesburg and subsequently to the District Engineers Office in Langlaagte. With the opening of the Humewood Road Narrow Gauge Museum in Port Elizabeth, number 16 was moved there as an exhibit before finally returning to its original operating line at the privately owned Alfred County Railway in Port Shepstone where it was abandoned.
Mark Ruddy, a steam driver, from Port Elizabeth (now Gqeberha ) sent us this picture of the NG4 arriving at Humewood Road Depot on a 3’6”gauge DZ wagon for display at the recently opened museum in the mid-80s. Two other pictures show it in the display shed at Humewood Road and hard at work at Sandstone. Our thanks to Mark for permission to use this rare photograph of the NG4.
If you are visiting the Eastern Free State, you may like to choose Sandstone Estates for your accommodation needs.
Sandstone offers accommodation on a working farm which also houses the internationally renowned Sandstone Heritage Trust collection. Various attractions are available to visitors to the farm.
Click here to view our Accommodation Guide for 2021
Brill Buses in days gone by.
Sandstone’s ex SAR Road Transport Services Brill bus has been in the restoration queue for some time and we hope that it will be restored to its former glory in the not too distant future. In the meantime Stewart Curry who is assisting with the digitalisation of the Transnet library send us a wonderful selection of photographs of the Brill bus in days gone by in South Africa. The pictures are courtesy of the Transnet Library.
SAR Brill Motor Coach
SAR Brill Motor Coach Pletenberg Bay
SAR Brill Motor Coach Pletenberg Bay cars
SAR Motor Cach Kango Caves
SAR Motor Coach Drakensberg
SAR Motor Coach Goldern Eagle Royal National Park
SAR Motor Coach highway to Durban
SAR Motor Coach Kango Caves Modern
SAR Motor Coach Kruger Park
SAR Motor Coach Llandudno
SAR Motor Coach louis Trichardt
SAR Motor Coach Marine drive Cape Town
SAR Motor Coach Marine Parade Durban
SAR Motor Coach Oudtshoorn
SAR Motor Coach Paarl
SAR Motor Coach Robinson Pass
SAR Motor Coach Unknown Location
SAR Motor coach Wilderness
SAR Road Transport heavy load Hluhluwe
With its first steaming expected by the end of May, the return to service of NGG16A number 155 is well on track. Recently we received the various plates, including the number plates, for the locomotive which will be fitted shortly. The number plate shows Alfred County Railway as it was this operator who classified number 155 as NGG16A after its extensive modifications in 1990.
Sandstone Heritage Trust and Sandstone Heritage Museum are proud members of the South African Museums Association (SAMA). This organisation does great work across a broad spectrum of museums in South Africa. They have recently published their January 2021, newsletter, Samantics which has some interesting information on the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on museums and also previous pandemics that have infected the world. Click here to see Samantics.
Sadly Covid 19 prevented us from holding our Easter Steam Festival which coincided with the arrival of the Cosmos display at Sandstone. Nevertheless we steamed NG10 number 61 for a train trip for our staff on Easter Monday which enabled us to put together a photo gallery of Cosmos 2021. As always our Oxen were keen to join in! The photographs are by Toni Barratt.
The below photographs are by Gert Jubileus