Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Sightings - Part III

Sightings - Part II


Hi all.

We got blue 34 409 returning light from Friedesheim after shunting the Mondi timber sidings.

Near Henneman orange E 1316 OVS & orange E xxxx came past with a Southbound load of containers. Gunhill yard was visited. Not too much traffic. Orange 34 043 and orange shunting van were standing on one of the loops. The row of staff cabooses seems to be getting longer each time we visit. While in the yard the Southbound car train came past behind orange E 1421 Natcor Hauler & orange E 1262. A quick visit to Kroonstad station revealed empty tracks. Then another Southbound load appeared, containers and petrol tankers, behind Spoornet maroon E 1405 & orange E 1283. A visit to the petrol sidings saw blue 34 409 idling away under a tree with plenty of petrol tankers filling up the sidings. Could not help to think back 20 years when all this was 15F hauled... Spoornet maroon 34 067 & orange 34 499 came past on a load of Kroonstad bound mielies near Kaalvlei. The Spoorbaan were busy at Friedesheim. Heard that catenary was stolen again at Arlington.

RRL, Sheltam and Harmony surface rail were seen as usual. Something we have never mentioned is all the little Senwes diesel shunters at the silos busy with moving the FZ's.

Wesselsbron's silo siding is being given a good amount of maintenance.

We found the Spoorbaan busy at Bloemhof. Near Grasslands blue E 10 039 & TFR E 10 xxx headed South on a load of Lime trucks. Close to Boskuil we got 4x 10E's heading South on a long load of ore hoppers. Soon after this another Southbound load came past. This time behind 5x orange 6E's on a load of coal hoppers. Leading was E 1452 Cape Northern. The catenary was down again at Boskuil and plenty of bobaan guys were busy. Makwassie was full of mielie trucks. Near Daalder blue E 18 352, blue E 18xxx & TFR E 18 508 headed past light towards Makwassie.

Orange 34 028 was spotted at Whites with a return working of mielies from the Sandveld. Plenty of hooting from the crew. At the petrol sidings near Gunhill we got blue 34 406 shunting the tankers. Orange 34 058 was busy on shunting duties in the yard. Then we got the surprise of the week. Between Gunhill and Bosrand a Northbound passenger train made its appearance. All sitter coaches in Shosholoza Meyl livery with a twin diner. Up front was purple 35 213, orange 35 xxx and being hauled dead orange E xxxx. Operating told us this was the weekly Johannesburg - East London - Johannesburg working. The unit had failed and she was running very late - that's why we got this train, it normally runs in the hours of darkness. They said that this train had still been running all the time?? Can't vouch for that. Funny, the only train from / to the Eastern Cape and it looked totally empty.

While on the subject of Passenger Trains, we have received the following from a reliable source, but NOTHING is official.

It seems that the only Premier Classe train to remain is the JHB - CTN - JHB train, times and days remain as is.

The Trans Karoo Tourist is now only going to run 3 times a week both ways. Wednesday, Fridays, Sundays, Mondays fall away.

The Algoa Tourist between JHB - PLZ - JHB will remain as is 2 trips a week, times and days remain as is.

The Economy / Lala class train routes will still run but have also been cut back.

The Trans Natal Tourist is not coming back.

The Tourist Orange Express between CTN - DBN - CTN is gone; the Lala class will still run, now twice a week.

Please NOTHING IS OFFICIAL; this is what we have been sent.

Does not look good...


J & J.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Sightings - Part III

Sightings - Part II


Hi all.

We caught a glimpse of the car train heading towards the Reef at Hennenman behind 2x orange 6E's.

Orange 34 499 was heading through Besempan on a load of mielies next stop was at Wesselsbron. From Brandfort to Theunissen the Northbound signals were green but no trains. Operating informed us that the Spoorbaan guys were busy on the line and the signals had been set up for their movement - "Geen treine vandag meneer..." At Vetriver we discovered an ancient fencepost with CGR on it but no date.

Near Kromellenboog we got a Northbound load of ore (110 wagons) behind 4x 10E's, leading was Spoornet Maroon E 10 046, blue E 10 xxx, Spoornet Maroon E 10 xxx and orange E 10 021. A long hoot from the crew. The next train was a short load of mielies heading South near Britten. Strangely this was behind 4x 35 class diesels. Leading was blue 35 239, Spoornet Maroon 35 xxx, orange 35 xxx and Spoornet Maroon 35 238. This driver was unfamiliar and slowed down, probably thinking speed trap! Just North of Bloemhof we got a Southbound load of containers behind orange E 1671 & orange E 1359. A few weeks ago we reported on a unit cow-catcher lying line side at Boskuil. This is still lying here - minus the patent buffer - which has gone AWOL... On closer investigation a round indentation can be made out, the size of a vehicle rim. At the nearby level-crossing we found plenty of motorcar parts. "Moenie met treine speel nie - hulle maak donners seer!" Close to Drie Ruiters another Southbound load of containers sped past, plenty of empty container wagons stenciled COEGA in the consist. Upfront was blue E 18 193 NATCOR & 2x TFR sisters. Hoots from the crew.

Our connections at Shosholoza Meyl tell us that the JHB - CTN - JHB Premiere Classe still runs behind 2x 35 class diesels all the way to Cape Town and back, but they break down quite a lot en-route...

Got orange 34 028 at Hennenman, with the return working of the Welgelee pick-up, a short load of mielies. Then a short while later a white Luxrailer trolley headed South. From Eensgevonden to Theron we followed orange E 1288 & Spoornet maroon E1405 on a Kroonstad bound train of mielie trucks and petrol tankers, friendly greetings from the crew. The spoorbaan were busy at Brandfort and some guys were busy at the Theron Substation.

We have heard that a 70 wagon Manganese ore test train was run from Kroonstad to Ladysmith behind 4x 6E's. Hope this becomes regular.

Orange 34 499 brought a load of timber into Friedesheim.

At Christiana Southbound blue E 18 165 NATCOR IMEX, leading two blue sisters came through on a load of fine coal. Hooting from the crew. Near Makwassie blue E 10 050 and TFR sister also heade South on a load of Lime. At Leeudoringstad we got a long load of ore wagons heading South behind 5x 6E's, leading was E1608, 3x orange and 1x SAR maroon following behind. Greetings from the crew. The Spoorbaan were busy just North of Leeudoringstad. The FZ is still standing at Regina with a "Not for traffic" truck card. This has been here for almost a month now.


J & J.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Kumba Iron Ore diesel #4

Logan sent me a picture of the Kumba Iron Ore diesel #4 parked at the depot. Note the air-conditioning unit mounted on the roof.

Click here for his report.

Thursday, 9 September 2010


Hi all.

Not much this week.

Got orange 34 058 heading towards the exchange yards at the showgrounds with a short load of Lime tankers for the mines.

Heading South near Kingswood we got SAR maroon E 1610 & orange E 1469 on a load of containers. Later near Leeudoringstad another Southbound load came past. This time Lime, behind TFR E 18 624 & blue E 18193. Greetings from the crews both times.

At Hennenman Southbound orange E 1346 & orange E 1305 came past with a load of beer trucks from Rosslynn to Kimberley, could not make out the contents on the truckcards. Later neat Virginia the empty car train headed towards the coast behind 2x orange 6E's, leading was E 1329.

Normal Sheltam, Harmony and RRL working were seen.

J & J.

Vereeniging area

Hi there all, Spent Sunday morning at Bijlkor yard as well as Leeuhof yard. Bijlkor yard was packed with traffic. Lots of lime wagons and steel carriers and coal and ore wagons both loaded and empties. 3 class 38 locomotives were preparing to leave the yard with a train of empty coal wagons returning to Saaiplaas. This yard also receives about 2 full 100 wagon ore trains a day. Leeuhof yard not too busy, a class 36 were busy shunting crm wagons in and out of the workshops. Also found a Kumba iron ore diesel locomotive parked at the diesel depot, just before I left three 6E's left the yard with a train of empty steel carrier wagons heading to the Potch side. A class 18E also left the depot heading to the Bijlkor yard. Leeuhof depot also received a lot of Kroonstad drivers and train assistants. Spoke to one train assistant and he informed me that there is not enough work at Kroonstad for all of them. There is a rumour that they are busy with ore train testing on the Kroonstad to Ladysmith line. Does anyone know any more about this?

Logan Stone

Blue Train sightings - Part 4

Blue Train sightings - Part III

Blue Train sightings - Part II

Blue Train sightings.

Hi all,

Early on Saturday morning we got a call. The Blue Train over nighted in Kroonstad. Said to depart 07h24 or 08h24. Got dressed and off to Geneva to await arrival. Another call stated a RRL 33 class and another 34 Class diesel to proceed before Blue to Bloemfontein. Nog a call stated struggeling with vacuum on two diesels. Blue to depart 08h24.

At 08h50 took photographs at slight curve between Geneva and Holfontein of Blue. Friendly wave from crew, including Pilot. Quick run to Hennenman second road over rail bridge, a 15 km/h speed restriction still in force here due to lowering of tracks under bridge and poor condition of both lines. Again good photographs, this time a hoot. Then an even faster dash to the new large concrete viaduct over Sand River for more shots. On way back CTC advised Diesels just at Bosrand. Off to Hennenman again, good shots in speed restriction area. Spoornet Maroon 34 650 with blue "LOG" on side hauling RRL 33 01. Noticed vacuum problem. A long piece of domestic drain down pipe, running length of drivers side running board, connected to 2 NW wheel carrying trucks with a clamp to first truck. All sounding bad with flat wheels. Speed around 30 km/h to Bloemfontein. A quick dash to the Ventersburg road over rail bridge, more shots, waving and short toots from crew.

Returned through mine area to Sheltam. All Cabooses now gone except one still in Gulf Red and Quaker Grey in shed. Plus two small Diesel Hydraulics. Told other two hauling ore.

J and J.