Tuesday, 31 March 2009

PRASA branded Train Sets

At the PRASA launch, they showed a UCW built 10m4 in the newly branded PRASA livery. Thanks to a new contributor.
He sent me some wonderful pictures he took of the new PRASA livery, when the set was parked in the yards at Johannesburg Park Station.

Personally I find the livery very exciting and makes our railway scene very colourful, the way Africa should be. Will be interesting to see how many sets will be branded in this livery as Metro sets still continue to come out of the shops in the yellow and grey livery.
Will be adding more pictures in the the coming days.


Sorry about the delay in releasing the PRASA information. This reorganisation of the passenger rail sector has been on the cards for a while. The official launch function of PRASA was held at Johannesburg Park Station on 20 March 2009.

You can read a detailed report at their webpage.



The newly-established Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, PRASA, merges the operations, personnel and assets of the South African Rail Commuter Corporation, Metrorail, Intersite Property Management Services, Shosholoza Meyl and the long distance bus company, Autopax (Translux and City-to-City). As part of the process of integrating these entities, the role of Intersite is being redefined in order to more effectively support PRASA’s new strategic direction and objectives.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Transnet Class 39-200

We are getting closer to discovering the NEW EMD diesels. This report had a link in Twitter.

Nice article but small pictures.


SA-Railnews is working on getting pictures.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Class 39-200

This is all over the international rail news. Hopefully somebody will get some pictures soon.


Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. & Transnet Rail Engineering Unveil the First of 50 New GT26CU-3/Class 39-200 Locomotives Being Assembled in South Africa

KOEDOESPORT, South Africa, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. (EMD) and Transnet Rail Engineering (TRE) has rolled out the first GT26CU-3/Class 39-200 3,000 THP locomotive at the Transnet Rail Engineering facility in Koedoespoort, South Africa. The balance of the order for 50 units is scheduled for delivery by the end of the third quarter of 2009. This marks the first new diesel locomotive to be delivered for service to Transnet Freight Rail in 20 years. With over 40% of the parts to build the locomotive sourced in South Africa, EMD believes this is just the beginning of a long-term relationship between EMD and TRE in building or rebuilding locomotives and locomotive subassemblies. EMD has delivered to Transnet Freight Rail in the last 40 years over 600 diesel electric locomotives, which do form the backbone of Transnet Freight Rail's diesel fleet.

These units were assembled, painted and tested at TRE by a joint labor force of EMD and TRE employees. The EMD GT26CU-3 is equipped with a 3,000 THP 16-645E3 16 cylinder engine. The GT26CU-3 is also equipped with an AR10-CA5 alternator, high voltage cabinet and EM2000 microprocessor locomotive control system with FIRE(TM) display system. TRE has the role as the main subcontractor on the project. Some of the major components being fabricated and supplied from South Africa include the fuel tanks, cab structures, engine hoods, cooling hoods, underframe structures, bogie frames, sand boxes and equipment racks.

EMD has incorporated several new designs into the locomotive to enhance driver comfort, safety and maintainability of the locomotive. TRE has worked closely with the project team and technical team from EMD giving TRE the skills to build a modern EMD locomotive in a production environment. The transfer of technology has come as a direct result of the GT26CU-3 /Class 39-200 locomotive project.

According to Albert Enste, Vice President International Sales & Service, "The success of the GT26CU-3 locomotive is vital to providing safe and reliable cost effective diesel freight locomotives for rail operators in the South African region that would otherwise not be able to replace older fleets that have become unreliable and, in some cases unsupportable through obsolesce."

Building the GT26CU-3/Class 39-200 locomotives utilizes the combined efforts of EMD's technology and TRE facility and resources, which will have long lasting benefits for both companies. With EMD's commitment to providing core components and technical assistance, as well as locomotive assembly provided at TRE, and the large amount locomotive content being sourced in South Africa will make locomotive maintenance and scheduled overhauls run smoothly, providing reliable locomotive service with minimal down time. "The GT26CU-3/Class 39-200 locomotives will be the best, most reliable locomotives in the Transnet fleet. Feedback from drivers, operators, maintenance personnel, ergonomics, and safety experts have all been very favorable, and they cannot wait to get these units into service," says Steve Hoisington, Vice President of South Africa Operations.

Founded in 1922, Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. is one of two U.S. original equipment manufacturers of diesel-electric locomotives. Headquartered in LaGrange, Illinois, with additional facilities in London, Ontario, Canada, EMD designs, manufactures and sells diesel-electric locomotives for all commercial railroad applications and has sold its products in more than 73 countries worldwide. The Company is the only diesel-electric locomotive manufacturer to have produced more than 70,000 engines and has the largest installed base of diesel-electric locomotives in both North America and internationally. In addition to its locomotive manufacturing activities, EMD has an extensive aftermarket business offering customer's replacement parts and a range of value-added services for its locomotives. The Company is also a global provider of diesel engines for marine propulsion, offshore and land-based oil well drilling rigs, and stationary power generation.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

More Free State news

Hi all.

Here is some more news from our area.

Yesterday we caught Spoornet maroon 34 067 heading from Friedesheim to Welkom with a load of empty timber trucks. Later that afternoon we just missed an air braked load of mielies going past Kaalvlei behind 2x 34's.

Today we headed out towards Senekal. Looks like a train might have passed over some of the level crossings ? The cosmos flowers look beautiful all along the line.

Our first stop was at Biddulph, the first stop out of Senekal heading towards Arlington. Just a triangular nameboards left. Loop line next to the goods shed has been lifted and the points removed. Goods platform very overgrown. A concrete slab is all that is left of what once was a halt.

Next stop was at Bobbert, the stop just before Arlington. Same story here as at Biddulph. We noticed a date on the line near a Thermit weld written in chalk. 2007/**** This might have been when the loops were removed as this was near where the points were and new concrete sleepers have replaced the steel ones.

On past Arlington towards Brandberg, this is between Arlington and Lindley. Again exactly the same as the two previous halts.

We noticed new speed and whistle boards all along the line.

Back to Arlington, no trains on the mainline. From here we headed to Komspruit. The station building still stands but is badly vandalised. The roof is going AWOL as have the window frames. It still looks better than some of the stations we have visited. The lever frame is gone, only some mangled signal wire and pulleys remain under the water drenched floor. We received the station diagram from here a long time ago when the station closed. The grass is about a meter high on the platform. Komspruit has a high, long new platform. Nameboards are at both ends of the station, altitude 1612 m.The goods shed still stands. Some track has been uplifted.

One "bad" thing about wandering around all these old station areas is the time taken afterwards removing the Khakiebos blackjacks from our clothes !

Then we headed for Kroonstad. At Oosthuizen we got the "Bobaan" replacing catenary, probably theft. They had occupation of the line, thus no trains on the way to Kroonstad were noticed.

At Kroonstad we saw 2x Bethlehem bound 6E1's on a train of containers and petrol tankers, waiting for the occupation to end.

On to Whites. Just before Hennenman we caught up with orange 34 058 on a load of empty mielie trucks heading for the Sandveld. At Whites we noticed she stopped in the station on the Welkom side of the platform. We headed down the line to view the route indicator. At the road over rail bridge near Whites West we caught the yellow Plasserail ballast tamping machine heading into Whites station to be staged for the day.

A quick glance at the signals confirmed our suspicions, there was another train heading to whites from Welkom, hence the waiting load of empties.

We decided to travel to Mooiveld along the service road, which has become almost non-existent in some places. Between Whites West and Mooiveld we met up with blue 34 409 struggling upgrade with 34 loaded grain trucks. A while later at Mooiveld 34 058 headed through at quite a speed and plenty of hooting on an empty load of 40 mielie trucks. Waiting for this train we noticed the rails that used to indicate the height restriction for the Catenary are 1906 C.G.R.

In one of our local papers a front page article and photo caught our attention. A new shopping trolley loaded with three, long sawn off lengths of railway line. With five persons pushing & hauling this heavy load. On being asked where did they get these rails. "In die veld" they just carried on pushing. On hearing that the police were called they fled. The call went through 12h45 the police only arriving at 14h15. Sorry no transport available. According to businessmen in Jan Hofmeyer road, the traffic in "Scrap" metal, pipes & other items is a daily occurrence, all taking place in broad daylight & local scrap yards buying these items. Welkom
station has a security presence & often two bakkies are parked there but nobody seen. The platform is presently full of old steel sleepers & Friedesheim's, goods shed ventilators.

John & Jacque.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Free State news

Hi all.

We've been round & about again so here goes.

Yesterday we had a trip from Welkom via Friedesheim (plenty of wood trucks), here we noticed that the entire goods shed roof has been stolen. How nobody can see such a huge structure disappearing is astonishing !! On to Odendaalsrus, Allanridge, Schuttesdraai (only the damaged mielie trucks are still standing here) and Bothaville. All along the way there is plenty of maize traffic but no trains noticed. Then we headed back via Skoonspruit, here we noticed that the Van Schoor hut has been broken into and the roof and window frames have vanished. From there we went passed Losdorings, Wesselsbron, Tierfontein, Willemsrus (found the little black Sen-wes diesel shunter giving the mielie trucks a run for their money here), Protespan and Bultfontein. Again plenty of mielie trucks at the silos but no movement.

Next stop was Brandfort, green signals to the South but we missed the train. Back via Theunissen and Virginia, no trains, only RRL in the Welkom area.

Today we headed to Alleman, the first station from Brandfort going South. The station and three nameboards still stand (2x steel & 1x fibreglass). On the South-end name board can clearly be seen that the station was once named Allemans, the "s" missing. The cabin in still locked up and the panel, telephones and a railway chair still remain intact inside. The Ticket office side is also boarded up but entry was once gained and it is destroyed on the inside, even the steel safe's door is missing ! All the signals have white crosses on them. Some line and points and catenary have been removed along the very overgrown goods platform. The old sandstone platform can still be seen underneath, where the new concrete has been destroyed. On the glass in the cabin is a faded notice: "Stasie gesluit vir verkeer, kontak Bloemfontein..." The re-lay room has also been destroyed and set alight, oddly the CO2 fire extinguisher still works ! On the platform is painted two faded "Flying Springbucks" (Vlermuise). While we were surveying the station area E 1510 & E 1506 "Natal" still with numberplates and in SAR maroon headed through light towards Bloemfontein, only carrying half a marker. The driver looked amazed to see people at the station and immediately reduced speed.

Then we headed back to Brandfort where we found Transnet busy in the station area. From here we headed to Winburg. It is quite funny to go through a town with a railway station and not stop to see what is going on, but as you all know the line is closed and everything is destroyed. On towards Virginia with a quick detour to Glen Harmony which is destroyed and only has a name left. Some track missing but the line looks a bit shiny. From here we went via Whites to Hennenman, plenty of mielies in the station but again no movement.

We then decided to head back towards Welkom via the service roads all along the branchline. At Whites west we found the guys re-laying electric cables to the re-lay room. The old signal cabin still stands but is vandalised, the Southern leg of the triangle to Bloemfontein was lifted a couple of years ago and now the underside of the bridge is being carried away here. Next we moved along the shiny track towards Mooiveld, here only a very rusted name remains and a broken into re-lay room. The destroyed colour light signals and catenary masts just a reminder of the once busy yard feeding the siding to the closely situated Zomerveld dynamite factory. This line was opened in the eighties and hardly survived into the nineties before being lifted. A piece of track still remains on the level crossing.

Between Mooiveld and Kaalvlei we got blue 34 037 and orange 34 058 heading to Kroonstad with a load of mielies. The diver being one of our buddies, gave us a hoot and friendly wave.

Of Kaalvlei absolutely nothing is left. Only the double catenary masts tell of the loops that once were. It in now in the middle of a huge squatter camp. Even the old catenary masts are disappearing. The optic fibre now running underground.

Next we passed the old diesel Depot at Mothusi. If we did not know what once was here we would not have known where to look. Everything is gone and the site together with that of the old uplifted Mothusi shunting yard, looks like a mining site with the trenches being dug to recover any remaining copper cables or metals. On approach of the official vehicle we were amazed to see people literally "popping" out of the ground and "running for the hills".

Mothusi station is destroyed, the platform very overgrown, the footbridge disappearing and all the offices have been removed some years ago.

Welkom station has a new Transnet Freight Rail name attached in front of the old ticket office. At least this station still stands, with RRL, security and a private courier service occupying the buildings.

Sighting greetings.
John & Jacque

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Free State sightings

Hi all.

This morning we caught orange 34 030 shunting wood trucks at Friedesheim. Also in the very long consist were two NAY hoppers and a lime truck. After the shunting was completed she headed back to Kroonstad.

Next we paid visit to Hennenman, here we found blue 34 409 shunting a load of mielie trucks also heading for Kroonstad.

Then near Kalkvlakte we found Spoornet maroon 34 067 also on a load of mielies heading North. Soon after this the car train followed Northwards hauled by orange E 1370 and Spoornet maroon E ???? travelling at quite a speed. Near Kalkvlakte we saw parts of the old alignment and remnants of a sand stone bridge.

Lastly we visited Welkom station where we saw all RRL's locomotives standing in the station area, 2x blue 35's and their own 2x orange / red 35's.

John & Jacque.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Northern Express

Les Kenward waited at a crossing near Kuils River for the Northern Express. Sunlight was not ideal for pictures but still a great job done. Les says that the express looks full and well patronised.

What has come to my attention, ONLY monthly ticket holders can ride the train. Does anybody know if it is possible to ride the train for a single journey ticket purchase? If the train is full and no seats available as its over subscribed, then I hope SARCC will bring a 2nd set into the equation. Like the Pretoria <> Johannesburg route is doing.

Free State news

Hi all.

Had a trip to Senekal today. Still no traffic noticed. Noticed in the yard area that steel sleepers have been uplifted recently, together with some track. On closer inspection we found the guys at the grain silos "re-laying" their own line into the silo and replacing rotten wooden sleepers with the SAR steel sleepers. If this is official or not we doubt as we saw some worrying glances in our direction ! If they are repairing their siding then Operating at Kroonstad are correct in saying the line is still open to traffic ? Also noticed that there is more ballast lying on the old goods shed's roof than along the line ! Also noticed the SASKO mill is closed and the siding to their silos is very overgrown.

Next we visited Libertas, again no grain trucks at the silos. The name still stands as do some station buildings like the waiting room but in a vandalised state. The goods platforms are overgrown and the lines are rusted. We found 1898 O.V.S.S rails in the yard area on the loops. Just out of the station to Arlington, there is a lovely sand stone and steel bridge over the Sand river, which was flowing quite strong. The wooden sleepers on the bridge have been walked over so many times by locals crossing the river that they have actually worn away over the years.

Bethlehem was devoid of any traffic, even the yard area. The line to Bloemfontein via Modderpoort looks rusty.

Then to Winburg where we had another look at the sand stone abutment that we think was built for the lines extension to Senekal.

On to Theunissen and Virginia next, all signals red, no trains.

Back in Welkom RRL was the only movement we saw for the day.

John & Jacque.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Kaaimans River

Les Kenward was in SA the past few weeks and has started sending me some interesting pictures. Thanks Les!

Kaaimans River Bridge photographed last week from the road above.

Will this line ever be repaired? Personally I doubt it.


Very interesting things coming out of Grinrod. They originally bought into Sheltham but now seem to be going into new rail ventures alone and forming various other partnerships. They clearly want to be ready to take advantage of a changing rail environment. They have the money and experience to really invest in a big way and offer alternatives to Transnet.

Will watch this with interest.

Transnet diesel loco tender

There has been a lot happening with Transnet (TFR) and the diesel loco tender. After awarding a tender for 212 diesel locomotives to Electro-Motive Sibanye Joint Venture in September 2006. The first new diesels should of been rolling onto the rails already. But many delays and factors came into play. Then TFR announced that the tender had cancelled.

This followed with the news that a new tender had been issued for 100 diesel locootives and three OEM had qualified, Electro-Motive Sibanye Joint Ventur, General Electric and Siemens.

Electro-Motive Sibanye Joint Venture challenged this in court but lost.

The tender was to conclude today (17th March) but it is expected to be delayed. Delays sum up the whole process of TFR buying new locomotives.

As I am personally a big fan of Siemens and their diesels, this would be my choice! Personally I can not see them getting the order. SA history shows favour towards US designed deisels from GE and EMD.

We will see.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

More Free State news

Hi all,

Yesterday we got orange 34 043 shunting ore hoppers
at Virginia, the rest of the load was standing in the station,
consisting of mielie trucks, probably the pick-up.

Our Saturday started with an early wake up call from
Eugene just after six, telling us that the Phelophepa had
left Bothaville at 06h12 via Allanridge & Whites. He had
spoken to the driver who had told him that this route was
chosen to eliminate a turn around at Kroonstad. The train
would then be in the right direction for the platform at Thaba

We got ready for a morning of train chasing & met up with
Eugene & crew at the Kroonstad/Hennenman crossing.They
went ahead of us to Whites. The TCO at Whites advising us
that this train was due to pass Whites at 08h20. We arrived
at Whites just to catch the train on the curve from Whites West
to Whites under the road over rail bridge at 08h18. We all gave
chase and stopped at Geneva station. A very short while later the
Phelophepa sped past with blue 34 406 upfront. On looking to the
north we saw the Tourist "Orange Express" coming south.
She was behind orange E 1543 & a SAR maroon 6E still
with number plates, all in Shosholoza Meyl colours.

Then off we sped again & caught up with the train as it rounded
Bosrand curve. We went straight to Kroonstad station via our,
skelm road.

Here we met Eugene & crew for the first time face to face. They
informed us that the second diesel has been removed from the
accident spot at Schuttesdraai. Whilst awaiting the train at
the station an orange 36 class passed through the station from the
direction of Westleigh. Orange E 1717"Natcor" and SAR maroon
E 1595 and orange E 1165 "Cape Western" were standing in the
Station area.

We phoned TCO and were advised that the train was being turned
on the large triangle in Kroonstad yard. We all discussed this news!
The train had been especially sent via the Whites route, that it would
be in the correct direction for the onward journey to Thaba Nchu. Why
turn it around again?

After a while the train was propelled into the station yard by the same
blue diesel that had hauled it from Bothaville. The train manager got
off & said he could not explain why the entire train had been turned
around again. He had arranged the Whites route the previous day to
eliminate it at Kroonstad. With this turn around the train would be
staged at Thaba Nchu incorrectly, with the clinic section not next to
the platform but near the old water tanks, the staff section would be
next to the platform. He was not too happy. They would try and turn
her again at Bloemfontein.

Orange E 1376 & orange E 1395 coupled up for the journey to

After the train had departed we all said goodbye to each other, Eugene
& crew going to Westleigh & back to JHB all along the line, to Koppies.

We left at speed to catch up with the train, again on reaching the Bosrand
curve we spotted the white coaches among the green thorn trees. Here
we came across 2 x 34 diesels 1x blue and 1x orange hauling a load of
grain trucks, the TCO confirming it came off the Bultfontein branch line.
We sped along again to our amazement we caught up with 4 x 35 class
diesels, 35 068 blue, 35 034 blue, 35 ??? orange and 35 053, the two back
ones looking in a very sad state. The TCO informing us that these were
on their way to Bloemfontein. Could these locos not have taken the
Phelophepa to Bloemfontein ? We then stopped at the Holfontein level
crossing. We contacted Eugene who said they were at Heuningspruit &
that they were pacing the 36 class we had seen at Kroonstad station,
which had a 33 class in tow, with a few empty container trucks used for
brake power.

After the 35's had cleared the CTC section to Hennenman, we saw the
"White" train approaching at speed. With the regulation two long blasts
on the locomotives siren, it swept pass us at the crossing, the coaches
just a blur.

From there it was back to Riebeeckstad & Welkom station to see what
movements there were. We had just arrived, with lots of lightning & thunder
& a very heavy down pour to follow. When the Odendaalsrus bound ore
haulage came in. This was behind blue 35 259. After the rain had stopped
we were informed that the opposite working had just left Odendaalsrus,
we waited and at 13h30 it trundled past with the sun shining again.
This was behind blue 35 257. RRL's own two locos were standing staged.
We were told that within about a week the new line would start operating.
They had an inspection trolley trip with the Rail Safety Regulator and they
seem to be happy. RRL have also obtained a 36 class diesel and they
might open a depot / shed in part of the old Welkom Goods shed.
Also heard that Grindrod have acquired shares in RRL.

A very interesting Saturday morning with eight different train movements
on main & branch lines as well as station yards.

Productive greetings,

John & Jacque [Not forgetting Eugene & crew].

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Free state sightings

Hi all.

We left Welkom this morning and travelled via Hennenman, there were a couple of mielie trucks and an orange air braked van for shunting personnel in the station. We had just missed the Economy Orange Express.

On passed Kalkvlakte and Virginia, still no sight of the passenger train. We thought we would catch up by Theunissen but due to "Stop / Go" road works we never caught up to her. Theunissen was empty and the red signals told us of her passing.

Seeing that the chase was futile we made a detour to Eensgevonden station. Believe it or not the station still stands intact and locked up together with two railway houses. The cabin is behind burglar bars and a locked security gate, as is the old ticket office and station. Some windows are broken. Looking through the cabin's windows we could see an old SAR chair, the panel, telephones, train registers and even a red flag. Some one has been inside as there are signs of vandalism but it seems to have been stopped. Beneath the platform where the old leverframe signal wires went through is a hole - this is how entry inside must have been gained. This is now closed off with old DJ goods truck sides / doors. The back / side of the station has also been closed with wooden doors. Unfortunately there seems to be evidence of the roof starting to be removed, so for how long this station will stay as is, anyone's guess. We will try and keep a regular visit and as soon as someone has forced entry, we will try and salvage all museum items for safe keeping.
The goods platform is overgrown and some lines have been lifted, but the two main lines are shiny. Southbound signals were red and Northbound ones were green. We could not wait too long and left.

On to Brandfort which was empty. Also no sign of the Northbound train.

Then we headed to Bultfontein. Here we caught Blue 34 409 and orange 34 058 shunting at the silos. After this was completed they readied themselves for the return journey. We left them there and headed back home.

John & Jacque.

Free State news

Hi all.

This morning we travelled to Wesselsbron, got orange 34 028 and blue 34 409 waiting in the station to proceed to Bultfontein with a load of mielies. Lots of FZ's at the silos.

From there it was on past Losdorings and Skoonspruit, plenty of FZ's standing in the yards.

At Shuttesdraai we noticed that 34 048 has been removed from the accident scene, leaving only 34 047 and the damaged rolling stock, the silos had some FZ's. One of damaged the FZ's had a notice pasted on "Under fumigation with Aluminium Phosphide, minimum 5 days off load" - wonder if it will ever see a load again...

At Bothaville we caught a glimpse of Phelophepa still standing in the station, bright red warning lights burning at the rear.

Then it was on to Vierfontein. Last time we visited here we could hardly find the station between all the Eucalyptus trees, now they have all been chopped down, the tree guys are busy all along the line. The station has now completely burnt down and all the corrugated iron has vanished. The safe shows tell-tale signs of extreme heat with blistered paint. The name still stands. We found a short train of "used" concrete sleepers in the yard on DKZ wagons. This is to repair derailment damage just outside the station on the line to Westleigh. The "pulpit" still stands. Both lines, to Westleigh and Bothaville look quite shiny. There were some FZ's at the silos. The transformer room still has an orange SAR Electric Supply Commission notice on it.

We missed the turn off to Karookom, will visit next time.

Mirage was next, the line and loops look shiny, no traffic at the silos. The tree felling guys have set up camp here and all the trees have gone. The Van Schoor hut still stands and is used as housing for someone. Plan 61 & Plan 25 notices are still standing along the line here. The goods platform and line with live-stock loading is very overgrown.

Back in Welkom we caught a blue 35 on the RRL ore heading to the mine at Odendaalsrus.

John & Jacque.

Monday, 9 March 2009

"Vrystaat" update

Hi all,

Started the day off with an early sighting of a Blue 35
at the Koppie Alleen bridge, on it's way to the Welkom
station with an empty load of ore trucks. Got a RRL
chap in town and he mentioned that one of their newly
overhauled 35's broke down and is in for repairs. This
bodes poorly for "Transwerk" in Bloemfontein.

Then saw the "Phelophepa" staged at Bothaville, quite
a long train, a couple of years ago we got the "Love train"
(HIV Practical train!) here. Whilst there the local
pick-up was sighted shunting the fuel sidings.
Orange 34 043 with a AY hopper as runner and 3
XPD "Boepens" petrol tankers.

Stopped at Schuttesdraai, the two diesels still there
together with the damaged rolling stock. According
to our view SPEED was a factor here. Tracks cracked
& temporally clamped, ground ploughed up by rolling
stock. Lots of heavy damage to the two locomotives.
Rolling stock will probably be cut up on-site, too badly
damaged to haul away. (34 047 & 34 048)

Johann your remarks ring very true, when will this type
of occurrence cease? Dozens of both "Draadkarre/Rooi
hongersnood" [Electric units/Diesels] have been written off
the last few months!

Kroonstad has suffered two accidents, a signal passed
at danger, resulting in the loco going over the de-railer, the
gates at Bothaville's petrol sidings were crashed into and
a car was knocked at a level crossing at Skoonspruit -
not looking to good...

Worrying greetings,

John & Jacque.

A bit more "OFS" news

Hi all.

Hot off the phone, "Phelophepa" left Kroonstad, Saturday 07 03 2009
morning after 08h00 for, Bothaville via Westleigh. It will stand there for
a week, then next Saturday off to Wesselsbron/Bultfontein or Welkom.
Have to contact Kroonstad Friday for exact details. These days "YQ's"
not sent out days/weeks before time, but only a day before departure!

Heard of another accident with 2 x 6E1's written off this time around.
[2 x 34's on 27 February 2009], now the 6E1's on 28 February 2009.
The lady driver was struggling to get her heavy load from Kroonstad
to Westleigh, she decided to split the load & take the front part to
Westleigh's small yard. Then return for the part left in the section.
But alas, she came too fast & smashed into her own standing load.
The workmen mentioned that they had to cut the locomotives apart
& the back locomotive from the load. It seems the driver & assistant
were in the front unit & reversed to pick up the load left in the section.

The few Electric & Diesel locomotives still in running order at the 2
locomotive depots are getting fewer as time passes.

Kroonstad staff worried about the lack of traffic in the good old "OFS".


John & Jacque.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

March update

Its been quite here in SA Railnews. Been busy with other commitments but do have a few bits and pieces to report over the next few weeks. Also have a contact at Railways and Harbours Exhibition in Cape Town. He will send a brief report and some pictures when he gets back home later this month.

Remember, SA Railnews is always looking for people to send news reports and pictures of our rail scene. No matter how small.

The above picture is of a busy Pretoria station, photographed in 2008 by me.