Steam & Railway Image Library - The Alan Ledger Collection

Picture of the week: South Africa
Picture of the week: South Africa

I have sent this one to show the grandeur of the scenery rather than the train itself. So here we have a South African 4-8-2 class 19B 1410 (it looks very smart but they never seemed to clean the tenders for some reason) working the 09.00 freight from Rosemead to Graff Reinet which is drifting down hill from Lootsberg a lonely isolated passing point on the summit of this line. The train will have been assisted in the rear by another 19B or class 24 2-8-4 on the long climb up from Rosemead to Lootsberg. Here the assisting engine will have hooked off and both engines then taken water, there must have been a spring somewhere for the supply. The assisting engine will have then turned on the triangle at the summit and returned to Rosemead. As you can see this is high mountainous country in central South Africa at around 5000 feet above sea level. It was very cold at night in our camper van this time of the year at these heights. These 19B’s were driven hard and were very noisy with a sharp exhaust and were also very sure footed. We sat by the line side at Rosemead one sunny evening by the engine shed and watched one being thrashed mercilessly as it fly shunted a long freight train on the main line into the sidings hitting the wagons up to be uncoupled by the shunter, it never slipped once as it to and frowed. The noise was tremendous.
Friday 7th September 1973.


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