Saturday, 31 July 2010
Got Spoornet maroon 34 067 between Brandfort and Theunissen on the pick-up from Bloemfontein. At road over rail bridge in Ararat street, all five RRL Diesels in Welkom station could be seen. 91 02 has it's engine out for repairs in Pretoria.
Near Harrisburg we got 3x orange 6E's on a Northbound load of Lime. Strangely only half of the load was covered with tarpaulins. The Trans Karoo Tourist came past just before Leeudoringstad behind orange E 1394 OFS, friendly hooting from the crew. A 6E bearing down at you in full flight remains quite an awe inspiring sight... Next we got the pick-up at Makwassie shunting FZ's into the silos. The loco was Spoornet maroon E 1404. Between Kingswood and Drie Ruiters we got a single orange 6E on a Northbound load of rail-bolsters.
The Makwassie - Wolmaransstad line looks like it has not seen a train for quite a while, plenty of sand over the level crossings.
SAR maroon E 1615 & E 1610 headed through Theunissen, light locos to Bloemfontein.
Hamilton had several FZ"s and some petrol tankers.
Monday, 26 July 2010
Sorry - have forgotten who took this picture!!
Further news about the derailment.
From a contact driver on the Orex line.
It happened between Loop 4 (near Lutzville) and Loop 5.
The locomotives were the third set of traction in the train (Locos + A; Locos + B; Locos + C; Locos). The complete train are called "A, B, C and D".
My source said he crossed the train earlier and suddenly the power cut out. The driver of the derailed train said he looked back when the power switched off and saw the dust as the train derailed.
The front part of the train did not derail, only from the locomotives in front of section C towards the back.
The investigating team are on site. At this stage the cause of the derailment is unsure, but it was most probably a broken rail.
The line will probably be opened for traffic again on Tuesday (tomorrow).
Sunday, 25 July 2010
Caught the normal RRL, Sheltam and Harmony workings all week.
Got an orange 34 class heading down to the showgrounds exchange yards. Glen Harmony station had timber trucks.
Harrismith was visited, Altitude 3519 FT, 241 Miles from Durban. The signal cabin still stands, as does the station. Local businesses are using some of the old station offices. Old water tanks still stand. Several disused, rusting and empty loops bake in the sun... This station has no Shosholoza Meyl palisade, although the Economy Orange does stop here.
Rivierdraai's cabin still stands but badly vandalized with no roof and no floor, 245 Miles from Durban. The line to Industriqua "branches" off here. Judging from the state the line is in there are no more trains that way. Catenary has been removed as has rails. A very overgrown goods platform still exists. Several of the catenary masts on the main line have been knocked / bent by a train and have been left as is.
Passed by Glen Lennie, just a concrete name left.
Paid a quick visit to Bethlehem, no trains. Rails have been uplifted in the station/yard area. A blue 35 and an orange 34 were standing at the loco. A long load of petrol tankers and an orange 36 class in the goods yard area.
Meets had a couple of mielie trucks at the silos.
The spoorbaan were busy at both ends of the tunnel between Meets and Valsriver,
Near Valsriver and Kaallaagte we found old embankments and sandstone bridge abutments of the old alignment. Kaallaagte also has had its goods yard lifted. Here we got orange E 1252 & orange E 1708 NATCOR ONE. They were waiting to proceed to Bethlehem with a short train of AY hoppers. The grass on the platform is so high it almost hides the train.
At Hennenman orange 34 499 came through en-route to Kroonstad with a load of mielies and AY hoppers.
We got orange E 1401 OVS & orange E xxxx, heading North at Leeudoringstad, on a long load of DZ's, mielies and containers Next, just after Grasslands, orange E 144x was standing at a green signal with a short load of FZ's, the pick-up. The adjacent line's signal was showing yellow. Soon the green turned to yellow in front of the pick-up and the yellow turned green. Then 4x blue 18E's came past with a Northbound load of ore. Leading was E 18 350, greetings from the crew. Still the pick-up stayed put. Again the Northbound signal turned green. This time 3x TFR 18E's came past on a load of orange tarpaulined CALJ trucks. Leading was E 18 609. The tarpaulins had Lime Acres stencilled on them. A few weeks ago the Weigh bridge - Test truck was noticed at Leeudoringstad silos. It is now standing at Makwassie.
J & J.
Saturday, 24 July 2010
Sunday, 18 July 2010
We got blue 34 409 at Hennenman, running into the loop with a load of timber and mielies. The timber for Glen Harmony and the mielie trucks for Hennenman and Welgelee. At Friedesheim orange 34 031 was shunting the timber sidings. All five of RRL's loco's were standing in Welkom station due to shaft inspections.
The Northbound signals were green at Welgelee, this turned out to be a load of FZ's and petrol tankers behind 2x orange 6E's which we only saw in the distance near Theron. Next near Theunissen orange E 1257 & orange E 1153 headed south on a load of FZ's and tarpaulin covered B- bogies. At Virginia blue 34 093 was shunting in the station area, this once again was the Welgelee pick-up.
Orange 34 043 was shunting at the Mondi timber sidings at Friedesheim. RRL 91 03 crossed here. At Hennenman orange 34 499 came in with a load of mileies from Welgelee. Sheltam's 32 class was waiting for a load at Steyn 4#.
At Leeudoringstad we got Spoornet maroon E 1565 heading South, light loco. This was the loco to shunt the silo traffic at Makwassie, Kingswood and along the way. We have never seen any mielie traffic at the large silos in Leeudoringstad, are they perhaps not working anymore? At Daalder the Northbound Trans Karoo Tourist came past behind Spoornet maroon E 1318, plenty of steam was blowing between the first and second coaches. She was running late again. E 1565 pulled into Makwassie to do the shunting just as a Northbound container train behind orange E 1227 Cape Northern & orange E 1169 came through. There was a well wagon in the consist. Between Boskuil and Kingswood orange E 1320 came past at a leisurely pace with a Northbound load of welded rails. A Gulf Red and Quaker Grey caboose was at the rear. Near Grasslands a long load of ore headed North behind 4x 10E's, blue and maroon. Closer to Bloemhof another Northbound load headed past, this time Lime, behind 2x blue 10E's. There still is a 30km/h speed limit at Bloemhof. Here we caught orange E 1262 & orange E 1421 NATCOR HAULER pulling into the yard with a long load of mielies and Lime. One of the Lime trucks' discharge chutes had opened along the route and everything was covered in a fine dust as the train came past. Just South of Bloemhof, SAR maroon E 1639 Kaap, headed North, light loco. Again all the crews greeted us.
Thursday morning at 06h58 on the RSG Traffic Report a motorist had sent a SMS to say. Railway lights at Redan station are blinding motorists. On inquiry we were informed that is was not new signals or level crossing lights.
Metro is upgrading all station platform lights, for security reasons, with high intensity lighting, hence blinding effect. Some sort of shade will have to be fitted at Redan and other stations with a similar problem.
In our area only RRL, Sheltam and Harmony surface rail. Hamilton yard was deserted but for a few Lime trucks. A Springfontein bound container train rumbled past behind Spoornet maroon and orange 34's. We paid a quick visit to the Vroue Monument, here we found green 7th class number 975 Neilson & Co. 4469 Glasgow 1893.
Vista a local news paper in the Volksblad group, published a photograph of a police official in a closed truck with 16 lengths of railway line. A team of 5 were busy cutting these long pieces of track into smaller chunks. The Manager of the scrap yard was also in the back of the truck and altogether 6 persons were arrested. The truck, gas bottles and rails were all confiscated. K9 unit plus a back up team, made the arrests after a tip off from the public. No mention was made if Transnet or Mine railway property was involved. It's about time the scrap merchants receiving known stolen property are arrested and closed down.
A small information item. A friend asked us to inquire about the movement of a 6 metre container from Durban to Kroonstad. TFR Bloemfontein said no problem, they will accept it and promptly gave TRF Marketing's number in Durban.
J & J.