Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News

RN 175 - Weekly activities & Steam Shed Report 7th June 2006 - By Gert Jubileus

23rd May 2006


Sandstone Steam Railway Locomotives

Class NGG 13 Number 49

The Hunslet Diesel Locomotive was used to load bales close to the line side on a string of B wagons between Vailima and Vailima Halt last Friday.

We steamed Locomotive 49 early on Saturday morning to haul the heavy loaded bale train over the Pandora embankment where it was offloaded the cutting below the Pandora house.

This locomotive received special attention this week and all the steam leaks were rectified. The ejector camshaft packing nuts, steam brake spindle packing nut, small ejector packing nut and the tarot spindles packing nuts were packed with rope.

Another trainload of bales were loaded to be offloaded where ground erosion are eminent to occur. The Hunslet was used again on Monday to offload the bales on the easier gradients on the new line between Pandora Junction and Vailima Halt.

The Douglas Locomotive:

Derrick is busy with the refurbishment of the Douglas Locomotive outside the Hoekfontein Shed. Most of the cab needed new steel plates and a good Boilermaker to rebuild it to her formal design. First of all it was needed to make drawings with sizes before we could begin with the restoration.

Below are some photos of the rebuilding of the cab.


Henk made the Gauge columns and a regulator handle. He also made a tarot for the locomotive and is busy with the safety valves.

Here is a photo taken of the inside of the cab.

Once the cab sides are finished, the complete locomotive will be sandblasted with the sandblaster in the Mobile Workshop. New lagging plates will be fitted over the boiler and the locomotive will then be spray with spray filler once the sandblasting is completed. A new cab floor will be fitted and a chimney cover will be made in next week.


All the locomotives were cleaned this week and the smoke boxes were rubbed with a special mix of graphite, oil and a little bid of diesel. This graphite mix burns into the smoke box and can resist the extreme heat, other than paint that cannot mainstay the heat.


The Guards Van:

The Guards Van came to the put this week for brake adjustment. A faulty roll ring was picked up during the vacuum brake test and Jacob and Petrus took the brake cylinder of and fitted an overhauled brake cylinder back.
Here is Jacob and Petrus busy changing the brake cylinder:
B wagons numbers 1628 and 1146 also came to the put for brake adjustment and general roadworthy inspection.

Dz number 1746 was shunted down from the storage line to the shed. Jacob and Petrus stripped of the braking gears completely and it were de-scaled and painted with Red Oxide paint. The vacuum cylinder was removed and will be overhauled in the next week. New bearings were fitted and the boxes packed with new axle box packing wool. This wagon will be sandblasted in next week.

Here are photos of Petrus and Jacob busy with the restoration of the Dz wagon.

A special Rail day was set aside to rectify all the little defects on the Railway line as well as to clean up the line side and crossings. We started early this morning and split up into two directions by using the Hunslet and the Wickham Railcar.

Here are some photos taken of this operation:
Left: Henry “planting” the clearance marks at Grootdraai.
Right: Henry using the rail jacks to lift and pack the Mooihoek points.
While we were busy fixing ‘Meercat” holes under the track to Grootdraai, the Hunslet team picked up all the off cut rails, sleepers in Hoekfontein Station. They then proceeded to the ballast crossing near the Hoekfontein points where we catch up with them. All the ballast was removed for it was very high and usually gets under the wheels of the trains when passing over it.
Right: Henry jacking the rail at Pandora crossing to rectify the lower rail on the wrong side of the curve.
All the Rail crossings were cleaned of excess ground and ballast to make the crossing bid safer for trains passing over as well as to prevent dust clouds that gets into the motion of the locomotives.
While passing the Security hut at the entrance of the farm, we quickly planted the Fire Hazard warning sign that Ben fitted on a steel sheet.
The ballast crossing near the Pandora Junction that was made for the trucks that brought the ballast for the new line was also cleared.
The ground at the top of the Pandora embankment was cleared from the Railway line to prevent dust clouds to gain onto the motion of the locomotives.

The same was done on the Farm School embankment just before the entrance points of Vailima Halt. The front shed of points at Vailima halt was covered with ground and was cleaned to make it workable again.
This however is just the beginning of an extended Rail maintenance plan that will begin within the next week. All the point’s tumblers will be painted white and half of the weight red again. All the clearance marks will also receive a fresh coat of white paint. A patrolman will then work from Hoekfontein station into sections, greasing fishplates and securing them again, as well as the T-bolts will be oiled with old oil.


Derrick made a bull-bar for the Wickham and Ben are now responsible to keep the Wickham in a superb cosmetically condition at all times.

Henk organized the Coal Shed by moving the heap of old coal that had a lot of coal dust in, out of the shed and cleaned them through the Coal Dust Extractor. He then moved the clean coal back into the Coal Shed in a neat pile. All the coal that was offloaded from the 15F in the town was also offloaded from the Link and placed into the Coal Shed. The Coal Extractor floor was moved out of the shed this week and will be fitted to it in next week.

The erecting of new signs are on a ongoing pace and every day whenever we have a chance, a new sign will be placed at appropriate place all over the shed as well as on the Railway line. This week we managed to fit some of these exquisite signs.
Derrick cut out plates for the new stop sign decals and Henk pasted them onto the plates.
These Stop signs will be placed at all the Rail crossing together with the crossing signs. Henry is busy cutting out the plates for the signs below. These signs will be fitted to tar poles.

Jerimina has her hands full cleaning the shed. Here is a photo of her cleaning the Semaphore instruments and the BSA Railcar and a photo of Oupa painting the tumbler in the shed yellow.
Class 25Nc number 3488 (now at Sandstone Estates) at Perdevlei May 1991. (Fireman Richard Niven)
Only memories of her are in the past, but she is one of the fortunate locomotives that still have a great future and one of the locomotives saved from the cutters torch.
Photo: R.J.Cousins.

1.) Refurbishing of Douglas locomotive
2.) Rail Maintenance (one man)
3.) Dz restoration 1746
4.) Next Dz for restoration.
5.) Ratanga wagon restoration
6.) Railroad signs to make and fit
7.) Repairs on locomotives
8.) Wagon maintenance
9.) To clean all coaches
10.) To clean tractors in Vintage shed
11.) To make Station name boards with steel plates (painted white with names stencilled in black fitted onto two tar poles.
12.) To make km posts
13.) To cut out plates for all crossing decals and to fit onto poles and erect.
14.) To fit sign boards.
15.) To clean 19D’s at Vailima.
16.) To paint Class 10 Cr in Hoekfontein Station.
Steam Greetings! The Steam Team!