Not content with the locos already on hand for restoration at Sandstone’s Bloemfontein facility, Lukas Nel has now picked up the pace with the simultaneous restoration of no less than five 2ft narrow gauge locomotives!
The three ex Angola 500mm gauge O&K locos have been moved to Bloemfontein together with NGG16 no: 88. They join ex-Illovo Sugar 0-4-2T no: ISE3 for a restoration initiative which should see all 5 completed by early 2008.
Whilst all this activity takes place, ex Lorraine Gold Mine 3’6” gauge 19D no: 2654 is also well into the restoration process.
ISE3 and NGG16 no: 88 will require some masterful work but are a simple exercise compared to the 500mm Angola locos. Politely described as unrestorable scrap by many who have seen the locos, Lukas Nel will have to contend with boilers that are seemingly beyond repair and components “welded” to the frames by about 60 years of extensive corrosion in the Angolan bush.
Nevertheless, nothing fazes the indubitable Mr. Nel and we can look forward to some new locos on the Sandstone line in the not too distant future. Look out for our progress reports on the Sandstone website at www.sandstone-estates.com.