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The Wanderer

Making Tracks…
Posted: May 14th, 2013 | By Paul Ash

A sprawling Free State farm returned to the steam age last week.

narrow gauge, Garratt, steam locomotive, South Africa

Garratts slumber in the smoky Sandstone engine shed

Twenty-two restored steam locomotives were fired-up and spent the week hauling trains on the 26km-long narrow gauge railway that picks its way through the maize fields and under the sandstone buttresses on Sandstone Estates near Ficksburg.

The farm owns a vast collection of steam locomotives – some of which were rescued as rotting hulks from sugar plantations in Angola and Mozambique and restored in South Africa – as well as classic farm machinery, traction engines and historic military vehicles. The annual week-long agri-tourism festival draws visitors, anoraks, trainspotters and petrolheads from all over the world. An estimated 1000 people made the trek this year.

For more information, see www.sandstone-estates.com. (Click on the photo for larger image).

narrow gauge, steam locomotive, South Africa

Raising steam on an icy Free State morning

steam locomotive, narrow gauge, South Africa

A Jung locomotive, rescued as a hulk from Angola, builds up steam

narrow gauge, steam locomotive, South Africa

Australian stoker Stephen Kaiser prepares a 100-year-old steam engine for duty

steam locomotive, narrow gauge, South Africa

Steam oozes from the pistons of a 100-year-old locomotive

narrow gauge, steam locomotive, South Africa

Australian steam locomotive engineer Graham Black adopts the classic pose of a waiting train driver

narrow gauge, steam locomotive, South Africa

A water stop in the veld

Garratt, steam locomotive, narrow gauge, South Africa

The fireman watches the water level

Garratt, steam locomotive, narrow gauge, South Africa

The glow from a Garratt’s firebox

 
 
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