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Steam & Excursion > It was like the 1950's.


Date: 09/14/20 13:57
It was like the 1950's.
Author: gregscholl

While there were quite a lot of steam excursions in the US during the 70's and 80's there was also some great places overseas where steam was running in regular service.  Not only was it steam it was what I consider "GREAT" steam.  American looking engines, English speaking, lots of steam action, and fantastic winter weather(July).  This is one of my favorites.  There were several nice ones on this 2 hour morning visit to this station several miles from Bloemfontain on the line to Kimberly.  This train is head to Kimberly and is just starting to pick-up speed as the crest is just out of view to the back of the train. South Africa was a destination for me in 1977 and 1984.  This was 1984.  I know others from the U.S. who made 6 to 10 trips over the years.  The flight was looooonnggg, but it was worth it. Engine is class 25NC 4-8-4, built around 1953.
Greg Scholl
http://www.gregschollvideo.com
 




Date: 09/14/20 16:28
Re: It was like the 1950's.
Author: Keystone1

Gee Greg......I only made it 3 times.....but I did get the last Atlantic's in regular service in the world.......Nampula, Mozambique.    (A real hell hole).



Date: 09/14/20 16:31
Re: It was like the 1950's.
Author: Keystone1

Gee Greg.....I only made it there 3 times.  But I did get the last Atlantic's in regular service in the world.      Nampula, Mozambique.    A real hell hole with mined roads used for chasing.



Date: 09/14/20 17:56
Re: It was like the 1950's.
Author: masterphots

Keystone1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Gee Greg......I only made it 3 times.....but I did
> get the last Atlantic's in regular service in the
> world.......Nampula, Mozambique.    (A real hell
> hole).

I think one of those was bought by Mr Posner (of Iowa Interstate and other roads) and is stored in Kenya or somewhere in Africa.  John Dziobko waded out into the ocean and got a great shot of one of the Atlantics at that pier they ran onto.



Date: 09/14/20 20:04
Re: It was like the 1950's.
Author: gregscholl

We visited Mozambique for 2 days in 1977, and did not get anything but the 4-8-2's in some wildlife preserve.  Was with 2 other guys who dropped me off, and was on foot.  A bit creepy not knowing what else was out there, and no place to hide!!!  Those were the engines built in Montreal, circa 1948 I think???  And yes it was a not so great country.
Greg



Date: 09/14/20 20:54
Re: It was like the 1950's.
Author: PVSfan

I made one trip to South Africa after riding and chasing steam in Zimbabwe. That was in July 1988.
I had the Beaconsfield shops all to myself one day.  The visitors log proved I was hardly the first!
I rented a car and chased what steam I could find between Kimberly and De Aar.  Should have stayed longer.
 



Date: 09/14/20 21:57
Re: It was like the 1950's.
Author: coach

That is a fantastic photo, capturing so much at a precise moment!  Love the look of those engines--big, but not too big.  Nice superelevation, too.

I have sound recordings of those engines--at speed under load, they sounded great.  I believe they were German-built?

And look at that track--South African Railways seemed pretty well run to me, and I'd never been there.  I wonder how they are now?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/14/20 21:59 by coach.



Date: 09/15/20 04:00
Re: It was like the 1950's.
Author: andersonb109

Thanks for your great SA stuff. I didn't get there until it was too late so have only photo charters from seven different trips. By then the railway was beginning to turn to crap with miss management, declining infrastructure, and rampant theft. Sadly the number of serviceable locomotives in SA now can probably be counted on two hands (not including the narrow gauge ones at Sandstone). After my first very long flight from JFK, I quickly learned that flying through either Amsterdam or Heathrow was a much better alternative breaking the journey into two long but manageable segments.



Date: 09/15/20 05:03
Re: It was like the 1950's.
Author: Keystone1

There was a large field of preserved locomotives of extinct classes.  Thieves removed the wheel brass and other parts, sold them for scrap. The engines had to be scrapped after that.     Lawless.    I have a newspaper story about such frequent car jackings that some people installed a type of flame thrower pertruding fron under their car on the driver's side.  If someone tried to steam you car at a traffic light in a city, the driver would "let you have it".   I am not kidding.  I have the article.



Date: 09/15/20 06:59
Re: It was like the 1950's.
Author: gregscholl

Keystone1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There was a large field of preserved locomotives
> of extinct classes.  Thieves removed the wheel
> brass and other parts, sold them for scrap. The
> engines had to be scrapped after that.    
> Lawless.    I have a newspaper story about such
> frequent car jackings that some people installed a
> type of flame thrower pertruding fron under their
> car on the driver's side.  If someone tried to
> steam you car at a traffic light in a city, the
> driver would "let you have it".   I am not
> kidding.  I have the article.

As for engine scrapping a bunch were scrapped around 2006, if you can believe that.  When I re-edited my South Africa shows in 2009, I put up a list of all the 25 class engines that were scrapped.  It was somewhere around 65 of them....really sad.

Regarding the sad state of affairs in SA, I used to have a sales rep on the west coast who was from South Africa and his father still lived there at the time.  He lived in East London.  Everyone has driveway gate entry systems with motors to open and close them.  One day he forgot to close the driveway gate, and when he noticed it was open he tried to close it.  But alas, no go, since theives stole the motor!!!!

If any of you want to see some previews of our 1984 videos, go to youtube and type in the search "South African Steam Collection" Greg Scholl.  All 5 shows are previewed in about 5 minutes.  Tons of great action.  Just remember the quality is early video in 1984!!!

Greg Scholl
http://www.gregschollvideo.



Date: 09/15/20 07:40
Re: It was like the 1950's.
Author: gregscholl

coach Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That is a fantastic photo, capturing so much at a
> precise moment!  Love the look of those
> engines--big, but not too big.  Nice
> superelevation, too.
>
> I have sound recordings of those engines--at speed
> under load, they sounded great.  I believe they
> were German-built?
>
> And look at that track--South African Railways
> seemed pretty well run to me, and I'd never been
> there.  I wonder how they are now?

The first 11 25NC(3401-3411) were built by North British Locomotive Works between 1953 and 1955, while 39 (3412-3450) others were built by Henschel in Germany.  NC stands for non-condensing. The 90 Class 25 Condensing engines were built By Henschel.  Many of them were rebuilt to regular 25NC by removing the banjo face smokeboxes, and fans on the long tenders.  The long tenders remained but had a distinctively different look.  I give the SAR credit, in that they chose to modify those Condensors when they were no longer needed for the arid regions(Due to diesels and electrics), rather than scrap them all.

Greg Scholl



Date: 09/17/20 14:57
Re: It was like the 1950's.
Author: ns1000

Nice pic!!



Date: 09/17/20 16:08
Re: It was like the 1950's.
Author: EMD2024

gregscholl Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Keystone1 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > There was a large field of preserved
> locomotives
> > of extinct classes.  Thieves removed the wheel
> > brass and other parts, sold them for scrap. The
> > engines had to be scrapped after that.    
> > Lawless.    I have a newspaper story about
> such
> > frequent car jackings that some people installed
> a
> > type of flame thrower pertruding fron under
> their
> > car on the driver's side.  If someone tried to
> > steam you car at a traffic light in a city, the
> > driver would "let you have it".   I am not
> > kidding.  I have the article.
>
> As for engine scrapping a bunch were scrapped
> around 2006, if you can believe that.  When I
> re-edited my South Africa shows in 2009, I put up
> a list of all the 25 class engines that were
> scrapped.  It was somewhere around 65 of
> them....really sad.
>
> Regarding the sad state of affairs in SA, I used
> to have a sales rep on the west coast who was from
> South Africa and his father still lived there at
> the time.  He lived in East London.  Everyone
> has driveway gate entry systems with motors to
> open and close them.  One day he forgot to close
> the driveway gate, and when he noticed it was open
> he tried to close it.  But alas, no go, since
> theives stole the motor!!!!
>
> If any of you want to see some previews of our
> 1984 videos, go to youtube and type in the search
> "South African Steam Collection" Greg Scholl.
>  All 5 shows are previewed in about 5 minutes.
>  Tons of great action.  Just remember the
> quality is early video in 1984!!!
>
> Greg Scholl
> http://www.gregschollvideo.

Greg- I have dozens of your VHS tapes and they are a priceless time capsule of a time we'll never see again. Especially enjoyed all your 1522 videos as a former crew member.

MWPerkins

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