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.
Not much, haven't been out line side much lately.
RRL's loco from Mozambique at Friedesheim with a load of empty hoppers for Frieddies 5 shaft.
The old 31 class at the exchange yards at Welkom show grounds, waiting for one of Harmony's locos to pick up the load and bring empties.
A couple of shots of the uplifted Glen Harmony branch.
Again at Friedesheim, this time Transnet with the Mondi timber shunt.
J & J.
Hennie has asked that I rename the photos, no problem Hennie! The date and time are imbedded into the photos.
Plenty of trains between Bloemhof and Klerksdorp. Near Boskuil two pantographs are lying trackside - signs of a hook-up. As always greetings from most crews.
Two light 34's hauling a 35 class that RRL have been hiring, here they are returning to Kroonstad near Mooiveld.
Mielies at Whites.
The timber shunt at Friedesheim.
A load of air braked mielies leaving Hennenman silos.
On arriving at Gunhill we found the Algoa waiting at a red signal for a Bethlehem bound train to cross over - the first time we got two trains here, unfortunately the timing was just not right and we missed this photo...
At Kroonstad station we saw the Algoa had Premiere Classe coaches attached. A short while later the Amatola also arrived behind 18E's. Both trains were running very late.
A couple of photos of the burnt out Kroonstad station.
Gunhill petrol and yard shunts.
J & J.