Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News

RN 153 - Weekly steamshed report - 27th February - 10th March 2006 - By Gert Jubileus

17th January 2006

Four locomotive boilers were washed out during this period. They are 49, Kalahari, Little Bess and the Decauville. The new Star Delta starter for the big centrifugal pump from St Helena was fitted this week and we tested the ability of the new pump and washed out Class NGG13 number 49. The force of the water through this pump is remarkable and is washing out of the boilers very sufficiently.

Here are photos of the Star Delta starter and the wash out of 49:

2_boiler 3_boiler
4_washout 5_washout
6_washout 7_washout
8_washout 9_washout

Above: The Washout through a 2” pipe.

10_Little_Bess 11_Little_Bess

We washed out the Little Bess and the Decauville on the same day because of the size of the boilers, but with the larger locomotives it takes up to two days to complete the process.

The Kalahari's dome was removed and a new brass joint ring has been made for her to ensure a steam tight joint at the Dome. With the dome off, it was an excellent time to wash out the Kalahari too.

Here is Derrick busy with the copper ring:

12_copper_ring 13_kalahari
15_kalahari 15_kalahari

The Dz and the B wagon were completely restored this week and were shunted out to the Station.
The Dz was also spray painted with the camouflaged colours.
Here are some photos of Ben and Henk busy with the rectifications to the B wagon doors.

16_b_wagons 17_b_wagons
18_b_wagons 19_camouflage

THE 49th WAGON came into the shed for restoration. Petrus and Jacob removed the braking gears and vacuum cylinder and also fitted bearings to this wagon. The vacuum cylinder was overhauled and the braking ears were cleaned and painted with the Red Oxide paint. Jacob started with the de-scale work on the Dz.

20_wagon_49 21_braking_gear

Henry started with the Ratanga wagon again and is busy with
the windows of the wagon while Henkie is busy with the making
of the steel frames for the seats with 50x50 angle iron.

3'6" WAGONS:
Henkie and Ben started with the waterproofing of the 3 wagons
in Hoekfontein Station. First of all they had to secure the existing
wooden roof and then covered the wood with 0,8mm steel sheets.
This will be finished early in next week.

23_waterproofing 24_waterproofing



Goldfields Rail was hectically busy this week. The third line in the Loco Shed was completed and they are halfway with the laying of the paving bricks. Here are photos of the third line under construction:

Here they are busy moving in
the very heavy set of point:
28_points 29_points



Then, the laying of the paving again:

33_paving 34_paving
With all the locomotives out of the shed, it was an excellent time to paint
the shed floors and the yellow stripes again.
35_floor_painting 37_floors


The rail panels on the Pandora embankment were loosened and removed fro the track bed.

39_pandora 40_pandora

All the ballast was removed and a stock pile was made. Karel Senekal then started with the earthmoving to slew the gradient. Amazing that only one man can do this with these giant earthmoving machines of Sandstone Estates.


43_earthmoving 44_earthmoving

Then the rail panels were laid again:

While Goldfields Rail was busy with the track, Karel started with the curve just above Pandora house.

This morning we started to ballast the line again with the Hunslet and AY wagons.

All the speed post signs were planted at the appropriate places over the line where special speed restrictions are essential. Seven speed post signs were placed over the line.

49_speed_posts 50_speed_posts
51_speed_posts 52_speed_posts

My worst enemy this year was definitely the weeds that were growing like crazy. This week we sprayed the line from Hoekfontein to Grootdraai and to Pandora to just before where the track was not disconnected.

53_weeds 54_weeds

This week all the wagons were except three were re-railed. The bogeys of the three wagons are used under the boilers without units, but they were placed neatly near the 3’6”wagons. The rest of the locomotive spares and units were moved and placed under roofs near the main complex.


56_yard 57_yard

Three Sena Diesel locomotives were loaded this week and were taken to Bloemfontein to await restoration at Zack van Staden. Here is Leon on his way with two diesel locomotives.

From the Past

A Class 24 leaving a station on the George to Knysna line. Photographer unknown. This is an era that never should have ended. Still do believe that Steam is still a modern type of motive power, if consider the science that went into the designing of these magnificent machines. They do not stand back for any “modern” type of motive power, they just say it is not modern because it is hard work and “hard work” is not modern for people living in these days.

1.) To finish the 49th wagon
2.) To start with and finish the 50th wagon.
3.) To do all the repairs on all the locomotives
4.) To load consists
5.) To shunt all wagons into correct order for Under the African Skies.
6.) To go on with the Ratanga wagon.
7.) To make steps for station.
8.) To clean passenger coaches.
9.) To load coal into bags for little locomotives and Portables.
10.) To lay water pipes for water column at Vailima Halt.
11.) To finish water proofing of wagons in Hoekfontein Station.
12.) To adjust and test all wagon brakes.
13.) To clean brass on locomotives.


Steam Greetings...Gert and the steam team!