The Great Wagon Rescue

After long negotiations Sandstone has acquired 37 more wagons from the now closed Port Elizabeth to Avontuur line. These are a mixture of DZ types and closed box vans plus 11 of the final wagons produced for the line, the C type or “Charlie”. The C wagons were used for the Loerie limestone traffic and were only ever hauled by the 91 class diesels. They add great value to the Sandstone collection as there are now examples of every existing type of 2ft narrow gauge wagons safe in preservation at Sandstone.

Wagon rescue image 1

The first collection took place on Friday 31st July at Assegaaibos, where two DZ type wagons were loaded for transport to Sandstone.

The logistics of the collection are quite complex, with 27 separate trips over 15 weeks required to collect all the wagons because some can be stacked but others are too tall and are solo loads. This will involve the Sandstone lowbed in nearly 50,000km of travel!

Wagon rescue image 2

The photographs by Wouter Jubileus show the loading and the loaded Sandstone truck ready to depart for the Free State, together with arrival at Sandstone and unloading the first two back on to rail.

Wagon rescue image 3     Wagon rescue image 4