Bloemfontein Shed

Sandstone Heritage Trust, Bloemfontein workshops.

Although Sandstone is reasonably well known as a destination it is less well known that we operate a major locomotive refurbishment programme at our Bloemfontein workshops. This is located in the old Steam Depot which was the home of constant Steam activity for many decades.

Progress Report – Bloemfontein – 14 June 2011

Lukas Nel has provided the following information:

1) Ex SANRASM O&K locomotive, No. 12691.


O&K No. 10311

Sandstone Bloemfontein workshops announce completion of O&K locomotive, No. 10311.


Locomotive O&K No. 10311 is now in the process of being painted.


Restoration of NGG11, No. 52 commences

29 July 2011 Update

The ex SANRASM  NGG11, No. 52, was a sad and seriously neglected locomotive. This has resulted in the need to fabricate many missing parts and to replace those that have become of no use due to the vagaries of time.


Two return cranks

Bloemfontein Shed Update - September 2010

Orenstein & Koppel locomotives, Nos. 12140 and 11112

We still have a residual stock of O&K locomotives ex Angola. Nos. 121450 and 11112 are partly rebuilt but currently need new boilers.


RN 36 - Decauville boiler passes its hydraulic test

Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News

The boiler of our rare 1899 built 3.5 ton Decauville loco has passed its hydraulic test and reassembly of the locomotive can continue. This is a major step forward in the restoration and the first time the boiler has been tested since the 1920s, it being placed in the sugar estate museum in 1930.

It’s a great credit to Lukas Nel and his team that this very elderly locomotive is making such good progress towards a return to service using so many original parts.


RN 132 - The Feldbahn being restored by Sandstone Bloemfontein workshops is proceeding steadily

Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News

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One should bear in mind that this locomotive was one of the very last to be disposed of in the UK resulting from the bulk import of narrow gauge locos including Feldbahns from Sena Sugar some years ago. Therefore our workshops never had the advantage of starting out with a locomotive that was more or less complete.

Orenstein & Koppel locomotive, No. 12493

3 December 2010 update
O&K Locomotive No. 12493 is now complete.
A team from the Feldbahnmuseum in Germany visited our Bloemfontein workshops recently where they were hosted by Lukas Nel. A full steam test was done on the locomotive and it was inspected in detail. The work was declared to be totally satisfactory and the locomotive is now being prepared for export.

Another job well done by Lukas and his team.


The New Locomotive Layout In Bloemfontein

Bloemfontein depot is an integral part of the Sandstone loco restoration programme today under the direction of Lukas Nel, here's how this magnificent depot was in days gone by in 1933. ..

After two years of steady construction work the new locomotive yard at Bloemfontein is now practically completed.

Bloemfontein is the largest engine depot of the Orange Free State, and prior to the provision of the new facilities, was served by an old round-house type of engine shed erected a considerable number of years ago, when only about 25 engines were stationed at this centre. With the development of agriculture in the Free State and the resultant increase in traffic, the accommodation for locomotives at Bloemfontein rapidly became inadequate and, with the greatly increased number of engines and limited amount of space, efficient working was extremely difficult. The provision of a new locomotive layout was therefore an absolute necessity, and accordingly in 1931 a commencement was made with the construction of a most modern yard on a site to the south of the old loco yard.

Updates from Bloemfontein Shed

Lukas Nel who is far too busy restoring locomotives to produce long reports does nonetheless keep us up-to-date.


The water tank on NGG16, No. 88 has been repaired

Old crane saved

7th July 2009

Our Bloemfontein workshops have definitely got a grip on this project. A set of drawings has been sourced from Bedford Borough Council's Archive Department. We would like to thank Sue Edwards, a Senior Archivist, for her excellent service in this regard.

The boiler is now being inspected and work on the boiler has commenced...