Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News

RN 34 - New diesel arrives at Sandstone 2

View the gallery >>

One of Sandstone Heritage Trust’s long standing associates is Zach van Staden who has been involved in overhauling some of our diesel fleet.

Zach was involved in the initial stages of construction of the narrow gauge railway and assisted in the re-engining of the narrow gauge Hunslet diesel locomotive when some local ‘experts’ made a hash of it. The loco was returned in fine fettle and also in its new colour scheme of sand and maroon. Zach has been working on a conversion of a four wheel Hunslet built underground locomotive, sourced from one of the mines.

A number of similar machines were purchased from an auction at Impala Platinum Mines some time ago, nominally for engine and other spares, and in unknown mechanical condition. This one was thought to be in fair condition, famous last words, but this was not to be. A misaligned shaft in the belly of the loco was spotted but was initially thought to be a loose mounting or similar, but was serious enough to warrant a serious inspection.

Zach continues “To cut a long and very expensive story short – we started many days of speaking in strange languages (swearing actually), gallons of sweat and three big bearing on the main shaft and rear axle, a complete transmission overhaul (it fell apart when we undid the mounting bolts) with a broken pinion amongst other things.”

The engine has been rebuilt and together with the new transmission is good for a long second service life. Zach says “Some you win and some you lose – as my friend Raymond says (and also quickly proved his point in no uncertain terms) – never ever complain, things can always very quickly get very much worse!”

After completion of this extensive rebuild it has arrived at Sandstone for trials and it is hoped to have a couple of these restored to use in the fullness of time. It has already shown that despite its diminutive size it has plenty of power for shunting work and will be put to go use as workshop shunter while our 1964 0-6-0 Hunslet is having its wheels retyred.

Before the number crunchers ask, we don’t know the identification of it, no numbers being found on it.