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