Steam & Railway Image Library - The Alan Ledger Collection

Picture of the week: 25NC3506
Picture of the week: 25NC3506

Big country big engine. Two pictures of South African Railways condensing class 25-3506 4-8-4. All of the class were mechanical stokers. Heading north at the isolated station of Biesiesport with a Beaufort West to De Aar freight probably returning empty coal wagons on the single track main line up from Cape Town. Five huge fans were on the tender top to cool the exhaust steam back into water and then returned it back into the tender tank. A fan drew the smoke from the smoke box and out to atmosphere. There was no usual exhaust beat heard from the engine when working but it could be heard muffled through the radiator panels when close up to the side of the tender as the engine passed by. The only other noise to be heard was a loud humming from the smoke extractor fan, most weird for such a large engine. In the distance a lone tree stands by the station building and a water tank can be seen on a small hill to supply the few houses. This area was situated in near desert conditions with very little water available thus the condensing equipment to conserve the tender supply. Alan Tregenna and Dave Wright were stood alongside. That’s our camper van on the road, just a dirt track. Love the moon like landscape.
Saturday 8th September 1973.


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