Steam & Railway Image Library - The Alan Ledger Collection

Picture of the Week: 15F1998
Picture of the Week: 15F1998

Here we have a South African 4-8-2. 15F 1998 seen south of Ficksburg working the 08.55 Bethlehem to Bloemfontain with 14 coaches in tow. There were 257 of these engines built by various company’s, this one being constructed by the North British Locomotive works, Glasgow, and they were found all over the S.A. main line system. This engine was from the depot at Beaufort West and was a bit out of its area for some reason, probably borrowed by Bloemfontain. The train has come slowly down the hill on the other side of the valley to cross the dry river bed, you can see the gradient in the distance, and will them turn another 90 degrees to climb up the steep gradient on this side. As soon as the train had crossed the bridge the driver gave the engine full steam, the sound of the engine echoing off the hills sides as it worked hard to gain height. The fireman is building the fire up with the mechanical stoker ready for the climb ahead. We spent the day along this line on the inevitable dirt track road which is running parallel with the railway, and got some good photographs, all of 15F’s.

Tuesday 18th September 1973.


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