Thursday, 6 February 2014
The two 34's are at the ballast shunt in Virginia. Since this station has closed a Train control officer must now come by road from Kroonstad to open the station - CS 90 has not been introduced here yet - but the station has been closed... The ballast comes from a nearby waste rock dump from one of
the closed mines. We reckon that when this dump runs out Virginia will be closed completely.
Harmony Surface Rail was seen at old President Brand 3 shaft.
Sheltam and RRL were spotted, you know you are spoilt with trains when you don't even bother to take photos of the ore movements anymore! One day when all this ends I'll kick myself for taking the 31's for granted... Rumours are that RRL want to move from Welkom station in to the industrial area,
re-lay a piece of siding and open a workshop, will keep you posted.
At Hennenman silos I got my friend making up an air-braked load of empty mielies for Kroonstad. 51 trucks in the completed train. On the photo of the yellow shunter you'll notice the other little black shunt diesel as well.
The huge barrel bolt on the diesel's door is what has to be done to protect the crews from line side "people" nowadays. All locos are getting this fitted - who would ever have thought...
Then quite a nice visit to Whites. This station has had a reprieve and will only close somewhere between January and March 2014 - well that is the latest info at least !
I noticed the signals were green near Whites, we gave the TCO a call and he said to come have a visit. Several hours and 4 trains later we only left.
The first one is "Captain Ford" heading towards Kroonstad with a load of fuel. Then the Friedesheim timber shunt came past. Some of the trucks were painted like the last truck on this train - blue, white and red. This was the colour scheme for some dedicated timber train a couple of years back - can anyone remember - "Green Arrow" or something like that ??
After that it was a short load for Bloemfontein. This train came to a halt in the station and the driver got out and looked stressed. He told us that he had just hit someone with cow catcher at the bridge in Hennenman, he heard the knock ! He stopped his train and went back to investigate but the person got up and walked away - never the less it still has to be reported. After numerous phone calls and the driver saying he is prepared to continue the train left. Normally the crew gets taken off and sent for counselling and a relief crew gets brought in.
Lastly another train from the branch, this time mielies from Wesselsbron heading towards Kroonstad.
This will be some of the last photos of trains at Whites while still open and standing.
We were also told that no "YQ's" have been issued or sent for any Christmas specials this year...
J & J.