Wooden bodied SAR&H coaches
Over many years the Sandstone Heritage Trust has attempted to collect and preserve the wooden bodied SAR&H coaches from a previous era. Many of these date back to the 1920's, which mean they are fast approaching 100-years old.
They are however susceptible to the weather conditions in the Eastern Free State, particularly the big temperatures extremes. Although the dry climate which is almost without humidity is very good for steel it ironically isn't that good for wood unless the item is kept in an environment where the temperature extremes are reduced and damage from wind and rain is minimised. It is for that reason that we moved the large 150-metre long locomotive shed from Ficksburg onto the farm. For the last 2-weeks our staff have been manfully moving these big coaches under cover and the process is now nearly complete. From here we will find a way to bring them up to a much higher state of restoration than is the case now. Many of their interiors are as they were when they were in service but the external cosmetics have taken a hammering.
Unfortunately because we are a 2-ft Narrow Gauge railway line we have no clear idea of where these coaches might ultimately end up but we believe that it is a worthwhile exercise to save them.
Our pictures below show the move and the storage facility.