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.

Bloem Class 19D 2654 Tender

03 July 2009 - Update 13

Further to the completion of restoration of 19D no 2654 Trevor Staats from Australia has supplied these excellent archive photos of 2654 working at Loraine gold mine in the Free State.

Update on reconstruction of NGG 16, No. 88.

Our Bloemfontein workshops continue to move ahead relentlessly on the above project. Having had some experience of rebuilding Garratts it is the wish of our Chief Fitter that we build a locomotive that is probably the finest rebuild of this magnificent class of Narrow Gauge locomotive ever attempted. As an indication of the type of work being completed here is the first picture released of the coal bunker with the classic riveted extension that was a feature of some of the Natal Garratts.

As always this project is now ahead of schedule.


NGG 16, No. 88, is coming along very steadily - engine units rebuild

NGG 16, No. 88, is coming along very steadily. Here is an updated picture of one of the engine units being completely rebuilt in our Bloemfontein workshops. Thanks to Lukas Nel and his team for the photograph.


Australian Visitor Pops In At Bloemfontein Works.

From: Peter Micenko
Subject: SANDSTONE STEAM RAILWAY; Restoration of steam crane at Bloemfontein

Whilst on a quick and short visit to South Africa recently, I visited the Bloemfontein locomotive depot and was permitted to view the restoration work being conducted by Lucas Nel and his team. It was interesting to see NG16 #88 being so lovingly and meticulously restored. I look back with fondness at the times I fired her at Port Shepstone and some of the various incidents that occurred in the normal life of a locomotive.

Also, Lucas and the steam team should be justifiably proud of their work on 19D #2654.

Feedback on O&K Locomotives

The Sandstone Heritage Trust owns the following O&K locomotives, together with an Arn Jung unit also of German origin. For the sake of this exercise we have included the Arn Jung under the same grouping as the O&K locomotives.

Two locomotives move to Bloemfontein.

Kerr Stuart loco, No. 4062, has been problematic since it was restored.There is a technical question mark relating to its performance and it has been decided to send it back to Bloemfontein to be looked at in detail and to be reworked and upgraded.

O and K loco no 10311 moves to Bloemfontein for upgrade...

Locomotive O&K number 10311 was offloaded in Bloemfontein last week. Attached is a preliminary report on work Lucas and his team intend to do.

  • Possible removal of boiler to clean in-between frames water tanks from rust and paint with sealer and anti rust paint.Remove wheels to set wheels in a railway workshop to correct gauge.
  • Remove left and right coal bunkers drivers cab, roof and back plate for riveting as per O&K standards.
  • Fabricate and fit a proper lubrication system for valves and cylinders. (Mechanical lubricator and valves).
  • Rebuild regulator to a safe standard as the regulator is not operating smooth at the moment.
  • Remove boiler cladding to fit proper flanges to boiler to attach clack valves.
  • Replace and refit all steel piping with copper piping on locomotive.
  • Fabricate boiler water level attachments and fit level gauges to O&K standards.
  • Fabricate and fit left and right clack boxes to O&K standards.
  • Rebuild no 1 and no 2 buffer beams and buffers to O&K standards.
  • Refit missing left water injector and refit right water injector.
  • Prepare locomotive boiler for a hydraulic and steam test to obtain a valid boiler certificate.
  • Retest and certify boiler pressure gauge.
  • Fit brass cladding to left and right cylinders.
  • Grind and polish left and right side rods and valve motion gear.
  • Paint locomotive and frames.

Restoration begins on another Angolan sugar loco

After Sandstone's visit to Angola in 2003, a number of ex sugar estate locos were acquired and brought to South Africa . Of these two have been restored, namely Decauville "Bathala" and O&K 0-4-0T 10311 of 1922.

Three other O&K locomotives of 0-6-0T configuration were also brought to South Africa and no: 11112 of 1925 has now been earmarked for restoration. Originally delivered in September 1925 to the Companhia Do Assucar De Angola for their estate in Caixito, it was of 500mm gauge and of the 30hp type. It is believed to be their No: 5 and was last reported in service in 1969.

As with its sisters the locomotive was in a very poor state and was not considered restorable but times change! Initial work has begun on the boiler at Stevens Mechanical in Howick, Kwa Zulu Natal. The boiler has been stripped completely for a total rebuild.

Progress report – O&K Locomotive No. 11112

23rd November 2009

O&K 11112 is progressing well in Bloemfontein. The original 500mm gauge has been changed to 2ft.


NGG 16 No:88

20th April 2010

Assembled and ready to work at Sandstone Estates.