Private Steaming Week – 19th-25th April 2010

A decision was made to steam every restored NG locomotive owned by the Sandstone Heritage Trust.

Unfortunately the Welsh Highland Railway contingent who had volunteered to make up the bulk of the Drivers and Firemen could not make it because of the volcano in Iceland.  However, we managed to assemble enough volunteers to make things happen, and in fact every steam engine at Sandstone was steamed during the week. 

Here are some preliminary comments together with the first photographs that have come in from our photographers.

 

From: Hannes Paling [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 27 April 2010 08:23
To: Joanne West
Subject: Re: THANKS FOR COMING

 

The time spent at Sandstone last weak was absolutely super, the staff went out off there way to make it as pleasant as possible for all, the visitors a great bunch off people, really sorry for those overseas guy's that could not make it to this event. In my opinion one of the best events, the variety of motive power and consists coupled to a relaxed atmosphere made it so enjoyable for all. Thank you for providing the opportunity to us few photographers to experience Free State hospitality and a steam train experience, at its best, that will not be forgotten soon.

I will be interested in the CD, I have attached a few pictures of my own experience, will put some on a CD for you

Thanks again for a great experience

Best regards
Hannes

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From: Johan & Kim Montgomery [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 27 April 2010 21:16
To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject: My visit at Sandstone

 

Please include me in the mailing list for the DVD of the best of the best photographs. I will make a donation to Steam in Action as suggested.

The phrase "thank you" will have little meaning should I try to describe my appreciation for the experience of a life time your team afforded us during the private steam week of 19-24 April 2010. Under difficult circumstances i.e. the availability of drivers and firemen you still tried your very best to make a success of the week. The dedication, drive and willingness from your support team did not go unnoticed; particularly Gert and Hester who went out of their way too make our visit as exciting and comfortable as they could.

I am amazed at what you achieved in a relatively short period with the restoration and preservation of tractors, vehicles and railways. Pity that your vision and plans must be slowed down by people who do not share or have the same sentiment or passion.

We all appreciate your hard work and applaud you for your willingness to share it with like-minded people like myself. This surely was not my last visit to Sandstone Estates, I hope too see you there again. Maybe as apprentice fireman?

All the very best and success with all your other farming activities planned for this season.

Best regards,
Johan Montgomery

 

From: John Davies [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 3:59 PM
To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject: Steam Week

 

Dear Marisa and Hester, and Team.

I would like to thank you for looking after our group so well, during the steam week. The food was everything that one could wish for.

The meal in the dining car was especially memorable, bringing back memories from long ago.

Please pass on my thanks to all the other team members who were involved with the food and drinks.

It was a great week, with a friendly atmosphere.

John Davies
Secunda, RSA

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From: Shawn Spaan [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 29 April 2010 16:01
To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject: Re: Thank You

That was the best week I have had so far at Sandstone and I have you to thank for it.

I hope to become your best driver one day, so please always keep me on board.

I really appreciate all you have done for me and enthusiasts alike, Keep it up!

Kind regards and many thanks,
Shawn Spaan

  

From: David Benn [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 27 April 2010 17:22
To: Joanne West

Here are a selection of pics from the steaming week at Sandstone.

Thank you, it was a wonderful few days. I needed a Steam "fix"!

With kind regards,
David Benn

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From: Tessa Joughin [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 28 April 2010 23:37
To:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject: Thank You!

 

 

Thank you so much for the wonderful afternoon and evening we spent at Sandstone. It was so lovely steaming over the farm in the April evening was magical, as always!

 

Here are a few of the images that I have edited already. I hope that the rest of the weekend went off as beautifully as the two days we were there.

 

Best regards,
Tessa  and Vernon

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From: Thomas Kautzor [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 06 May 2010 18:40
To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject: RE: THANKS FOR COMING


To everyone at Sandstone,
 
Thank you very much for inviting me to the steam-up. Despite getting there only on Thursday after the reopening of Geneva airport due to the volcanic erruption, I spent a wonderful three days in the Free State in the company of wonderful people. The locos & rolling stock were in top mechanical condition, the weather perfect, the food delicious and the people, both workers & visitors, most welcoming and helpfull, all of which are perfect ingredients for a very memorable time.
 
I was originally scheduled to fly home from Johannesburg last week on Thursday, but as is always the case for me when I am in South Africa, it proved very difficult to leave and I finally only made it back home two days ago, after spending some time in Kwazulu Natal and Gauteng. I am presently still in the process of going through my photos and will forward my modest selection as soon as possible, hoping they would still make it in time for the CD. I will certainly forward them, together with a short text, to "Voie Etroite" magazine in France, as well as to the "Continental Railway Journal" in the U.K.
 
Once again, thank you so much for inviting me to the event.
 
Best regards,
Thomas Kautzor,
Geneva, Switzerland.

 

From: Bob Baker [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 04 May 2010 04:01
To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject: Thank You

 

Now that I have been back in Perth for a week and have finally decended from “Cloud 9” may I take this opportunity of thanking you for the opportunity to experience the Sandstone Estate and its great hospitality.

 

Steam week gave me the opportunity of a lifetime in being given the chance to drive and/or fire 10 of the 17 locos available at Sandstone.  The experience I gained is second to none.  I had previously driven only 3 locomotives on 2 railways in Western Australia and with another 10 locos under my belt on such a challenge that the Sandstone Railway presents, certainly broadened my knowledge.  I had a ball!  If ever you decide to run a similar event in the future, don't forget me.   My heart goes out to the guys from Welsh Highland Railway who were robbed of this experience by the Iceland Volcano.

 

Please pass on my appreciation of the assitance given by Gert and the workshops team.  They were most helpful and a joy to work with. And let's not forget Hester and the crew who provided such great meals.

 

 

Bob Baker

 

 

 

 

From: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 02 May 2010 11:12
To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject: Best Photos from Day 1

 

 

These are my best photos of all the locomotives that ran on day 1.

 

Hope you enjoy.

 

Cheers

 

Aidan

 

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From: Thomas Kautzor [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 08 May 2010 16:06
To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject: RE: THANKS FOR COMING

 

    

Please find attached my selection of photos from the steam-up.

Best regards,

Thomas Kautzor
Geneva - Switzerland.

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From: Murray Kyle [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 24 April 2010 15:01
To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject: Steam week

 

        

Guys,

It is difficult for me to find the right superlatives to describe how much I enjoyed the few days I spent on Sandstone Estate this week and also to express my deepest gratitude for your very generous invite.

I was regrettably only able to spend 2 days on site! I couldn't imagine a more action packed and varied experience; I probably enjoyed myself even more than when I attended Cosmos Festival 2008 with my three boys.

Please thank your staff for their terrific effort which, I am sure all your guests will agree on, resulted in a first rate and totally unique experience. I would like to thank the ladies in particular, their input was superb, the meal in the dining car with a group of like minded men after a good days steaming will be remembered forever.

Thank you very much.

Yours most sincerely,
Murray Kyle

 

From: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 12 May 2010 15:35
To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject: Steam week 2010

I had dreamt about seeing the Sandstone locomotives under steam and last week the dream became a reality with all the locomotives!

I discovered that your unique collection is very important for South African and world history.

I particularly enjoyed the evening meal in the Blue Train restaurant coach and watching the sunset at the Vailima Loop from a coach pulled by a Garratt.

Thank you for the Kitchen Staff , for excellent food, Braai, Wine and Beers... and for the Technical Staff for the Steam Show.

My trip with the TransKaroo was pleasant. I spent a few days with my family in Cape Town and a last visit to Pilanesberg before returning to Switzerland.

Thank you again for a super week. Please find attached some photos of the occasion.

Regards
Marc-Henri André

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From: Patrick Polo [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 15 May 2010 12:56
To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject: FW: pictures festival april


 
Thank you very much for inviting us in what was more than a informal event. It was a great and exceptional week with a wonderful steam experience and a successful organization. I hope that our pictures will describe these unforgettable moments. And many thanks for the hospitality and the kindness of all the Sandstone's Team.
I will be interested in the CD and I have attached a few pics taken during the week.
 
Best regards.
 
Patrick

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From: Bob Baker [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 11 June 2010 03:20
To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

     

I really haven't given you much feedback on the Sandstone event so here goes.

For me it was railway heaven. I never expected to ever have the opportunity to drive and fire so many locomotives over such a picturesque and challenging track in my life. The hospitality and cammerarderie was exceptional. The workshops crew were a pleasure to work with and we had a quite a few laughs with them during the week. At the end of the week, although knackered, I was satisfied. Janet reckons I came back on a better high than any drug could induce.

Both Paul and I would love to come back again although we realise that any return visit may not come up to that standard - it was the pinnacle. I was tickled pink to receive both yours and Gert's emails thanking me for my participation. It was a pleqasure and a great learning experience.

That's all for now

Regards
Bob B

An article appeared in Steam Railway Magazine (May 28-June 24 2010 edition) regarding this event. 

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