The Sandstone Steam Locomotives
The Sandstone Steam Fleet received some special treatment this week. The Kalahari, 153, 113 and the O&K ‘s piston packing were set and the valve glands were packed. This is a job that demands patients and takes time to get it to perfection, but the most difficult packing to do is on the ejector camshaft packing nuts. The space is so limited and it’s a job not to be done without swearing at the ropes. The Regulator glands and tarot spindles were packed with rope on all the mentioned locomotives.
The NG 15 and NGG 16 number 153 will be used on the photographic trains in next week, and therefore needs all attention to any steam leaks that may spoil the photos.
Left: Tarot spindle packing and on the right the Kalahari’s regulator gland being packed.
Below are some photos of the setting of the piston packing as well as valve glands.
Above- The Kalahari’s valve gland
The O&K valve glands
Above- The O&K’s Piston packing
153’s Piston Packing
The Douglas Locomotive
Derrick secured the cab side plates this week and is busy with the fitting of the lagging inside the cab. Henry fitted the new lagging plates on the outside of the boiler and is busy with the dome cover on this locomotive. The steel plates that we ordered will be delivered early in next week. Derrick will then immediately start with the building of the coalbunker and the rest of the cab. Wood will be used for the footplate of the locomotive. As soon as the coalbunker is finish, the locomotive will be sandblasted and will be spray with spray filler. The paint filler will ensure smooth paintwork on the locomotive. The handrails will be fit to the sides of the cab after it is spray-painted.
Below are photos of this restoration.
THE CLASS 10 CR number 771
She is special, the only one in her class in the world and she deserved a special treat with a new coat of paint. Below are some photos of this beautiful Lady:
Sandstone Wagon Restoration
The Ratanga Wagon
Petrus sanded the planks and Ben fitted it to the Ratanga wagon. The outside of this wagon is complete and the final touches to the steel frames for the seats were done today and will be fitted in next week. Derrick will make the frames of the doors and wood will be fitted into these frames. Petrus sanded the wood that will be used on the window framework of this wagon.

Here are some photos of this restoration.
Here are photos of the first Ratanga wagon inside and the second one on the right.
And the first Ratanga wagon outside!

This Ratanga wagon came to the put for brake adjustment and gave some vacuum problems during the vacuum brake test. Jacob and Petrus then have to take the cylinder of and replaced it with a cylinder that was overhauled for one of our DZ wagons. This Ratanga wagon brake cylinder will be fixed and will then be fitted to the Dz wagon.
Below are photos of Jacob battling to take of the heavy cylinder from the Ratanga wagon.
The two PE coaches also came to the put for brake adjustment and brake block renewal.
Z Wagons
Dz number 1746
The vacuum cylinder was overhauled this week and was fitted back. The braking gears were fitted back with brake blocks and the brakes were adjusted. A new release valve was fitted with new chamber pipes. This wagon was shunted to the line next to the Douglas locomotive and will be sandblast on the same day as the Douglas locomotive.
Here are photos of this wagon:

Jacob overhauling the vacuum cylinder. This includes the neck ring, nylon bush, roll ring and joint ring.

DZ Wagon number 1405
This DZ came to the put in this week and restoration is in full swing. All the braking gears were removed together with the vacuum cylinder. The braking gears were de-scaled and painted with Red Oxide paint. Some of the doors were taken of and need some heavy panel beating. This is the last Dz to restore on the Sandstone wagon list.

The vacuum cylinder was used on the Ratanga and the one on the Ratanga wagon will be fix in next week. Both Dz wagons will be sandblasted at one time and will be spray-painted in original colour.

The wagon under frame:
The next wagon for restoration

A Rail maintenance plan was worked out to maintain the tracks on the Railway. Oupa started with this maintenance today. The Railway line was split into sections- Hoekfontein Station-Hoekfontein to Grootdraai-Hoekfontein to Mooihoek- Mooihoek to Vailima-Vailima to Vailima Halt and Vailima Halt to Pandora Junction. All the T-bolts and fishplate bolts will be oiled and secured and all the points will be serviced and tumblers and clearance marks will be painted.
This is a 180-day project and will include the removing of slacks on the lines, weed spraying in season and screening of ballast at some places.

Here is a photo of Oupa, very eager to go around the system in 180 days!
Signs & Decals
New Station Name boards were made of steel this week. Derrick spray painted them and the Station names will be stencil in black.
This Station Name boards will be fitted to two tar poles and I shall love to have them in place for the Rovos Rail visit in next week.

We made a point of planting at least one sign on a day and in time we shall have a very interesting collection of sign boards, very old ones and new ones to.
Plates were cut this week and decals were pasted onto them. This signs will be fitted to poles and will be erected at all the level crossings on the farm.
Wooden Fence

Derrick extended the wooden fence up to the Vintage shed this week. He also made an “overhead gantry” with wooden poles that was planted at the entrance points of the Loco Shed. A signboard was cut out of steel and was spray-painted. The wording “ Have a Safe Day” will be stencil on the one side and on the other side it will read “ Thank you for working safely today”

Here are some photos of the fence and Overhead:
Station Chairs
Ben repaired all the blue wood Station chairs this week.
A local school visited the Sandstone Steam Railway today. The Hunslet locomotive was cleaned for this special occasion.
Two hundred and twenty seven little children arrived at the Loco Shed today!
A table was set with cold drinks and sweets to hand out before the train departed on a lifetime experience for these little children. Hester and Anna had their hands full at the table.
Then it was time for Mr. Conductor to see that each one gets a place on the train!
The Train departed from the Loco Shed to Grootdraai and returned to Hoekfontein Station just before five. All the children were singing and waving when they got of the train, an experience they will never forget. Thank you Mr.Mole!

From the Past!
A Class 19D number 3349 performing shunting duties on Theunissen station in 1984.
Planning for next Week
1.) Douglas Locomotive cab and coalbunker
2.) Rail Maintenance Plan A- Hoekfontein Station.
3.) To sandblast 2 DZ wagons and spray paint them
4.) 153 Coal bunker repairs
5.) To shunt B wagon 2968 to the shed for restoration
6.) To do last repairs on locomotives to be used next week
7.) To shunt consists and bring over put for roadworthy inspections and brake adjustment
8.) To touch up paint work in shed
9.) To stencil station names and place in stations
10.) To finish overhead safety sign and put it up.
11.) To clean brass on locomotives
12.) To clean locomotives
13.) To coal locomotives
14.) To prepare locomotives for steaming
15.) To fit Ratanga wagon Steel frames for seats
16.) To finish Ratanga wagon window frames
17.) To clean Vintage tractors and Traction engines
18.) To clean Loco Shed
19.) To clean Coaches
20.) Rail Inspection Thursday morning
21.) To shunt mainlines clear in Hoekfontein Station
22.) To fill all boilers
23.) To plant rail crossing signs boards