Saturday, 28 August 2010

Sightings, lack of...Part II

Sightings, lack of...

Hi all.

The normal ore haulages were seen.

However it was a poor week for TFR movements.

Got orange E 1370 & orange E 125x on the Northbound car train between Theron and Theunissen.

From Christiana to Daalder, NO trains were seen. All signals red, both ways. At Daalder we found the back of a Northbound ore train, marker Telemeter and all. Up-front were 4x 10 E's, leading blue E 10 044, pantos down. This train was blocking a level-crossing and there was no crew. When we found a Lime train at Leeudoringstad, Northbound, also with pantos down (Spoornet maroon E 1404 & orange sister), we gave operating a call as something was wrong. The TCO laughed and told us that everything was standing, pantos down, due to catenary theft near Regina. The only movement was a train passing through the affected area at slow speed heading towards Klerksdorp. At Harrisburg we were met with another staged Northbound load. This time containers. Locos were 2x orange 6E's, leading E 1261. A couple of kilometers before Regina we found the bo-baan chaps fixing the catenary. At Regina a Southbound load of fine coal was also standing staged behind 3x 6E's, leading was SAR maroon E 1532 Natal.

Something interesting we noticed was that several of the units had smashed / missing windows ?? Some windscreens, others side windows and front door windows. We do not know if this happened while the trains were staged or somewhere else. We think the first, because some of the windscreens will render the units unsafe to operate.

J & J.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Last weeks action - part 4

Last weeks action - part III

Last weeks action - part II

Last weeks action.

Hi all.

Not much again this week.

Got orange 34 031 at Hennenman heading backside first towards Kroonstad with a load of AY ballast hoppers and mielies. This was the Welgelee pick-up.

At Whites the Spoorbaan were busy and a white inspection trolley was standing alongside the platform on the Welkom line.

Again we got 34 031, this time at Bultfontein, shunting the silos. Soon she turned on the tri-angle and headed back towards Kroonstad.

Orange 34 499 was spotted just before Hennenman, Kroonstad bound with the return working of the Bothaville pick-up on a load of mielies and petrol tankers. Friendly greetings from the crew.

We paid a visit to Sheltam in Virginia, these chaps are always friendly and we heard some interesting news, thanks guys. They have a new arrival No.4, an ex 34 200. They are also getting No.18, an ex 34 600 soon. No. 2013, their 32 200 and no. 1002 left for the Congo on Friday with a load of four staff cabooses. The first leg of the journey will be from Virginia to Randfontein and then onto the Congo. We had a look in the cabooses and they are smartly refurbished with all the household goodies running from a generator, they are air-conditioned as well. Coupe's and a compartment with a toilet and shower in the middle. The 31 class no.22 will still remain in service here.

Caught a glimpse of a Southbound container train near Virginia behind 2x orange 6E's.

Near Harrisburg we got a Northbound load of Lime stopping at the signals. This was behind orange E 1735 Natcor One and orange E 1204 CW. Next Spoornet maroon E 1307 headed past light loco Northwards. This loco was also held up at red signals. Near Leeubos we found the guys busy on the signals / points. Leeudoringstad also had Northbound traffic coming. This was another load of Lime behind blue E 18 254, blue E 18 xxx & TFR E 18 619. Greetings from the crew. Near Kingswood we got a very long ore train, also heading North behind 4x 10 E's, leading was orange E 10 002, 1x blue and 2x SAR maroon sisters.

We did some research about the Leeudoringstad dynamite explsion of 1932. Today we set out to try and locate this spot. The info we have states about 1Km South from Leeudoringstad. All we could find were some ancient stone covered graves under a tree. Don't know if this has anything to do with the explosion as some graves from 1977 are also close by. Maybe we stumbled upon the site without even knowing...


J & J.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Not a very busy week - Part II

Not a very busy week.

Hi all,

Not a very busy week.

We got orange E 1453 & SAR maroon E xxxx, at Bosrand, heading light locos to Kroonstad, this probably was the return working of the Southbound Orange Express tourist. Maybe the last one ever...

Orange 34 499 was seen heading towards the exchange yards at the show grounds with a load of Lime for the Welkom mines.

Near Drie Ruiters a Northbound load of Lime headed past behind TFR E 18 605, TFR E 18 xxx and a blue sister. Hoots from the crew. Next, near Grasslands, 4x 10 E's headed North on a load of ore wagons, this was behind blue E 10 040 "Newcastle", Spoornet maroon E 10 006, blue E 10 010 & blue E 10 017. Shortly, on this trains heels, we got SAR maroon E 1610 & orange E xxxx on a short load of mielies, the pick-up. Then the surprise of the day. The Northbound signals were green for kilometres before Christiana, so something was coming. Just North of Christiana we got the ,almost 10 hours late Premier Classe, running behind 2x orange 35's. Leading was 35 672. She was going at an incredible speed trying to make up time, short hoots from the driver. Dust spoiled any photos. On phoning CTC Klerksdorp were told that the "So genaamde grootkoppe in Johannesburg" [So called big bosses] had failed to arrange the necessary electric motive power yesterday. This resulting in no electric locomotives being available and diesels having to be substituted plus the necessary crews obtained. Also mentioned that the power car had also given problems and had to be be seen to at Kimberley. (Now we know the REAL reason.)

We have not noticed RRL's 36 class lately, has anyone seen it somewhere else??

J & J.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Sightings - Part 4

Sightings - Part III

Some Blue Train action.

Sightings - Part II


Hi all.

Caught a glimpse of a triple headed 34 class mielie train in Welkom station. One of the locos must have failed and was hauled back to Kroonstad dead. We do not get triple headers here.

Just South of Leeudoringstad the Spoorbaan had occupation of the down line, doing repairs with the Isuzu truck running up and down the line. This meant that all traffic had to run "wrong road" from Leeudoringstad to pass the occupation. The first train was a Southbound load of mielies behind blue E 18 382 & blue E 18 xxx. Next, a Southbound container train behind orange E 1267 & orange E 1324. Also in the consist were several stainless steel tankers, "Return to Worcester when empty". Within 10 minutes another Southbound container train came past, this time behind orange E 1682 Northern Transvaal & orange E 1476 Kaap. The Southbound signals turned green again and after a long wait, a quick call to operating confirmed our suspicions. The Blue Train was on her way. A couple of minutes later she slowly came past behind orange E 14 110 & orange E 14 xxx. The Blue Train nameboard was on the leading locomotive. She looked absolutely clean and smart heading past us. The video camera on the lead unit as well as the cables could clearly be seen. Some friendly waves from the crew and passengers.

Got orange 34 058 at Allanridge en-route to Bothaville with a load of NAY hoppers loaded with ballast.

Just South of Leeudoringstad yellow Plasserail "Dynamic Stop Fexpress" (the "F" must be there) headed North. From Orkney to Christiana the Spoorbaan are busy all along the line. At Eersteling the Spoorbaan were also busy. Here we got orange E 1554 & SAR maroon E 1613 Kaap on a Southbound load of containers. She was standing on the loop waiting to cross a Northbound train. Soon the Tourist Trans Karoo came past behind orange E 1418 Kaap. This train, already, only had Sleeper 4 / first class coaches in the consist. Only one second class coach for the staff was attached. The aroma of breakfast wafted around as the diner went past. The train looked quite full. She went over 2x detonators and the speed was reduced even further. Still the container train stood in the loop, then the Northbound signals turned green again. Then 3x blue 18E's came past on a load of tarpaulin covered Lime, leading was E 18 399, again exploding two detonators as she approached Eersteling. The tarpaulins were brand new and had Phalaborwa stencilled on them. Finally the containers headed past. South of Makwassie we got a another Northbound load of Lime in hopper wagons. This was behind 3x 6E's, 2x orange and 1x SAR maroon. At Drie Ruiters a Northbound load of mielies came past behind orange E 1476 Kaap & orange sister. Spoornet maroon E 10 016 headed past on another northbound load of lime just South of Bloemhof. Near Christiana we got an extremely long Northbound ore train behind 4x 10E's Leading was blue E 10 039 with another blue and 2x SAR maroon sisters. A whistle board still with a "W" on it survives here. Again all the crews greeted us.

Got blue 34 093 shunting the silos at Wesselsbron.

Between Odendaalsrus and Friedesheim orange 34 499 thundered past en-route to Kroonstad with a load of mielies, plenty of hooting from the driver, Next we got the Cape Town bound Economy Trans Orange at Hennenman. Plenty of passengers on the platform. This train was only made up of sleeper 6 / 2nd class coaches and a twin diner, no more sitters. Motive power was orange E 1453 CN & purple E 1657, friendly hoots. At Kroonstad we got blue 35 257 shunting the petrol sidings. The line from Kroonstad to Bethlehem has Track warrant operating. We have noticed new route indicators which we have not seen before, plenty of little lights on a flat black board, which looks completely different than normal signals. Also, yellow notices have been erected above the warning boards "Radio control points". On further enquiry we were told that the driver can change the points from the cab and after the movement the points return back to the original position after 90 seconds. We heard about this quite a while ago, as it is dangerous in some places for the female assistants to walk the length of the train after pulling into a loop for a crossing and the like. At Holfontein orange E 1370 & orange E xxxx sped past with a Southbound load of containers.

J & J.