|Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News
RN 111 - The steam preservation community in South Africa are on tender hooks
The steam preservation community in South Africa are on tender hooks. We understand from the authorities that tenders will be coming out shortly which might result in the scrapping of nearly 1,000 3'6" steam locomotives.
Bearing in mind that Zimbabwe is busy decommissioning steam engines to use on the National Railways of Zimbabwe to take advantage of their substantial coal resources, we wonder why the South African Authorities do not adopt a wait and see attitude. With declining reserves of fossil fuel it would be possible to haul long distance freight using locomotives like the 25NC in particular which is fitted with roller bearings and which has an advanced design to take up the challenge.
We urge the authorities to reconsider the long-term position. Short-term financial gain resulting from the scrapping of these locomotives might result in a very significant long-term penalty for society as a whole.