TODAY WAS A DARK DAY, EVEN THE PICTURE DOESN'T LOOKS GOOD!

By Gert Jubileus

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From years ago these Giant Machines caught the heart of all the Steam Enthusiasts while they walked the pace of life without stumbling. These machines were fearless and so were their crews.

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Then came the sad days when their glory were over, they were parked alone in a yard and left to die slowly. First came the vandals and the thieves and the Giant machines started to stumble, no crew to help them.

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The end was fatal and they died, these scenes were enough to make us cry over our beloved faithful machines.

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But, some of these Locomotives were lucky and were saved from the torch and are stabled in silence inside the Sandstone Steam Shed in Ficksburg where they are preserved for a better future.

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For years and years they lived their lives in a quiet secured shed

UNTIL

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Last week vandals and thieves broke into the Shed, a crew of 7 thieves vigorously stripped of all the brass and copper from our 15F number 2910 and 15CB.

With no respect they demolished what Sandstone Estates was preserving. Our 15F and 15CB was standing complete with all their spares and pipes on, ready to run if the Boiler certificates were renewed. Sadly there are nothing left, everything was stolen and disrespectfully were cut with hacksaws. These people were organised and when we notice this we called the South African Police who caught the thieves inside the shed hard at work. 5 got away and the 2 that were caught are under age. The total loss is estimated at R 650 000.00 and the thieves only got R 750.00 for the stolen parts, this is very sad indeed.

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Spares lying in the shed.

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The missing smoke box wheel, even loose steel spares were taken.

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What is left of the one blow down cork.

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Broken locomotive side windows.

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The missing ejector on our 15 CB

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Locomotives were stripped and the spares were thrown on the ground for the delivery team to collect.

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15 F pipes next to her.

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The delivery pipes were cut, we recovered 2 meters of this at the local scrap dealer but were in 500mm lengths to ease to carrying of the pipes.

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The huge left and right Injectors of both locomotives were stolen with all the brass tender pipe fittings

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Smaller pipes were just ripped off

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Missing oil pots

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The missing right side 15F injector.

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Missing pipes on the CB

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Missing oil pots on the CB

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The missing CB injectors.

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Missing tarot spindle brass wheels.

Both Locomotive clack boxes were stolen, we recovered the CB 's Clackbox in a field near but it was damaged beyond repair with the hacksaws.

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3 Missing Safety valves on the CB, the 15 F lost hers as well.

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The 15F have a casted tarot but they cut off all the tarot spindles.

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The main steam pipes to the tarot were cut off.

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This is what is left of the 15F's clack boxes.

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The steam Valve that they were busy with when we arrived.

The management of Sandstone made a decision to remove all the items from the shed and to demolish it because of the vandalism.

This is really so sad!!!