THE SANDSTONE STEAM LOCOMOTIVES:
This week was freezing cold in the Eastern Free Sate, but we just had to take the Class 10Cr on her final
Run into the Hoekfontein Station. This was indeed the more tricky part of turning the 10Cr around, to line up the temporary tracks to the main storage line. One rail panel had to be cut to a specific length to fit in between these two lines. One rail panel was taken down to the shed and the one side of the rail was cut to 6,64 meters while the other one was cut to 8,64 metres.
Below is a photo taken of the specific length of track that we needed to connect the two lines.
Below left: The 10Cr with snow clouds blowing over from the Maluti Mountains.
Below right: The shortened panel was fitted and finally the temporary line was connected to the main storage line.
We finally had to do some major curve alignment before we could pull this sexy Lady into the Hoekfontein Station.
Below: Connecting the lines!
Below: Extensive curve alignment under progress!
Below: The 10 Cr well on her way to her new resting place after a four-day journey. She traveled almost 2 km detour to reach her destiny.
It was quite a relieve to finally see her facing chimney first in Hoekfontein Station where she now can show her beautiful face to the world! The line was connected again and the passenger coaches were coupled to the 10Cr.
LITTLE BESS!
This week was sad indeed when we had to load Little Bess. She is going on a tour just like the little French Decauville. She is such a part of our Steam family and we will miss her when she is gone.
Little Bess is not so little at all, and before we could load Little Bess, we had to remove her chimney and cab to fit into the 12-meter container.
Below: Henk stripped of the cab and chimney of Little Bess.
Below right: Our last goodbye before she disappeared into the long container.
CLASS NGG 16’s
We shunted out two Class NGG16’s from the new storage line, and had to disassemble both locomotives to enable us to take out the two engine units from the one locomotive and the boiler from the other locomotive. The spare engine units then were shunted underneath the not to go boiler. The rear engine units together with the tanks were loaded onto a low bed. This Garratt is on her way to our magician Locomotive restorer in Bloemfontein and soon will steam into her new lease of life on the Sandstone Steam Railway.
Below left: This NGG 16 boiler and the units of the locomotive on the right were separated for transportation to Bloemfontein.
Below: Finally we had the Garratt into three pieces and ready to load!
Below: We assembled the not to go boiler and engine units and by the end of this day she was ready to be shunted back into the storage line to await her chance for restoration!
Below: The tanks and bunker were loaded separately onto the low bed together with the rear engine unit.
CLASS NGG 15
Our Class NG 16, number 17 received some special attention to her sandboxes this week. She is one of our locomotives to be used on the photographic trains on the David Rodger tour in next week. Because of severe frost on the Railway lines this time of the year, it was essential to get her sandboxes to work.
The right hand sandbox lever was jammed and we removed the levers and drained the sandboxes empty. It was amazing to see all the pieces of waste, grass and even small pieces of clinker.
Below: The right side sandbox and all the drained sand out of the sandboxes.
Below: The empty sandbox and the little hole for the sand to flow down the sandpipes. The stuck sanding valve was fixed and the sandbox was filled with new sifted sand. The left side sandbox was also drained and filled with new sifted sand. The sand is working so well that if the lever is opened for to long, the locomotive will start running up a sand mountain! J
Below right: The sand pipe under the sandbox.
The regulator gland was packed with new rope and if the gland is pulled up slightly to tight, then it is not needed to hold the regulator in position all the time. Once it is opened to suite the demand, then it automatically stays in that position and if you don’t like the driver, then secure the gland very tight. J
The steam brake spindle packing nut and the tarot spindle packing nuts were packed this week to ensure a steam tight tarot.
Below left: The Tarot spindles.
Below left: The steam brake spindle-packing nut, packed with new rope.
THE CLASS NG 4
We did try to paint the NG 4 black this week, but because of sever cold weather and low day temperatures it just was not possible. The black paint made blusters all over where we started and we sanded it of again and painted small area that was painted black, blue again.
Below left: Henk covered the white lettering with masking tape.
Below right: derrick painted the black parts blue again.
While we had the NG4 number plates off, Henk painted the in and outside of the plates and sanded and polished the numbering to a shining condition.
SANDSTONE WAGONS
RATANGA WAGON NUMBER 3
This week Ben went on with the restoration of the third Ratanga wagon. He fitted steps on both sides of the wagon and sanded planks. He then fitted wood to the sides of the window frames and fished the armrests of the wagon. The steel frames for the doors are finished and will be fitted in next week when the intensive sanding work will begin.
Scenes from the past! Special moments in the night, a Class 16Cr number 2 just before midnight, ready to depart on her journey through the night. This photo was taken in August 1999 long before they were withdrawn from service. For the crews it was just another night to get through and no one thought that they will be gone three years later. This Class 16Cr ran into the rear of Class 16Cr number5 in September 1992 killing the driver and one of the shunters. Number 5 was one of the locomotives cut up in August 1998.Number 2 remained in service till the very end and was one of two locomotives stripped for heavy repairs while our Sandstone number 1 had to work week in and out. Number 2 suffered with frame problems since the collision with number 5 but was a stunning performer. The shed they are stabled in now, were forced open and all valuable remaining spares were stolen recently. Luckily no one can steal our memories of the scenes from the past!
OUTLOOK FOR NEXT WEEK
* To shunt and prepare consists for David Rodgers Tour on Tuesday.
* To prepare, coal locomotives to use with Tour.
* To clean all level crossing with Track inspection.
* David Rodgers Tour on Tuesday.
* To roadworthy wagons and locomotives.
* To load NGG 16 boiler to Bloemfontein.
* To load NGG 16 front unit to Bloemfontein.
* Ratanga wagon restoration.
* BSA Railcar restoration.
* Cosmetic upgrading of Hunslet Diesel locomotive.
* Track maintenance.
* To lift out points and loop line at Mooihoek siding.
* Repair Peckett smokebox.
* To start with restoration of Garratt to Ratanga
* Flat wagon restoration 151
* Henry and Arno on Fire team till Thursday with David Rodgers tour.