Rail News

DATE

September 17 , 2021


Heritage steam engines trade rail for road to get to new home

Times Live 
27 August 2021 (South Africa)

Motorists on the road between Bloemfontein and Ficksburg in the eastern Free State on Wednesday would have witnessed the spectacle of a 160-ton steam locomotive rattling eastward on the back of a 19-axle lowbed trailer.

The locomotive, one of four owned by the Sandstone Heritage Trust, a private collection of locomotives and vehicles based on a farm near Ficksburg, was heading to its new home on the farm after two decades of languishing outside Bloemfontein's former steam locomotive depot.

While Transnet's national collection of heritage locomotives and other rolling stock is kept at Bloemfontein behind locked gates, the four locomotives were outside the property and vulnerable to scrap thieves, said Sandstone marketing manager Dave Richardson.

“We felt the assets would be safer at the farm,`" he said.

With their copper pipes, brass controls and other valuable metal components, many of SA's surviving steam locomotives have been stripped for scrap by metal thieves in recent years. In 2013, locomotives owned by the now-defunct SA National Rail and Steam Museum, kept at unprotected sites near Krugersdorp, had to be scrapped after suffering irreparable damage at the hands of metal thieves.

Source
https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2021-08-27-heritage-steam-engines-trade-rail-for-road-to-get-to-new-home/

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