This is our last report for 2017 before the workshop in Bloemfontein closes for the holiday break on Friday the 15th. All the tubes have now been removed from the boiler as our pictures show and the boiler will now be descaled. The tube plates will also be tested and inspected before the retubing commences. This will be during the early part of 2018.
Lukas Nel and the Bloemfontein team have begun removing the tubes from NGG16 113. Our pictures show the superheater header at the start of the operation at the smokebox end and then the process to the remove the old tubes by grinding off the ends at the firebox end. Our last picture shows the section of the small tube which caused the failure in April 2017.
The transport of live cattle by rail has long faded into history on the South African rail system and particularly on the narrow gauge. The South African 2ft narrow gauge system itself met its demise long ago but thanks to the efforts of Sandstone a large number of rolling stock types have been saved for preservation. A comprehensive survey by Sandstone in May 2016 identified every remaining wagon along the line from Port Elizabeth docks to Avontuur. Each wagon was photographed and the images are now in the Sandstone archives. Two G type cattle wagons were identified, namely G 210 at Assegaaibos in the Langkloof and G 246 at Saint Albans on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth. Both are of the type G-3. 210 was built in 1940 and 246 in 1937. Number 210 was still stabled at the old cattle loading dock at Assegaaibos waiting for a cargo that would never come again whilst 246, as the photograph shows, was basically reduced to a frame on wheels in a lonely siding. Both units have now been collected by Sandstone and transported to the Eastern Free State for preservation.
NGG16 number 113, built by Beyer Peacock in 1939, has been moved to Sandstone’s Bloemfontein Workshops for re tubing. The locomotive was acquired from the Midmar project in 1998 but did not enter traffic at Sandstone until February15th 2003 after a full overhaul in the Hoekfontein Workshops. The locomotive was withdrawn from traffic in April 2017. Our pictures from Lukas Nel show 113 after delivery to Bloemfontein and alongside NG10 number 61.Work on the NG10 will continue alongside the repairs to 113.