South African steam in 1980

Between 8th and 22nd of November 1980 the author spent two weeks in South Africa supporting the SAR trials of the BR/Brecknell Willis high speed pantograph.

During this period I visited the railway depots of Capital Park, Pretoria and Germiston, Johannesburg where I was fortunate enough to see a great many active steam engines, 12 years after steam finished in UK.

Here is a selection of pictures - excuse the poor quality - this is a combination of poor film, cheap camera, extreme contrast between the bright sunlight and shadows in SA, not to mention an amateur cameraman!

Click on a picture for the bigger image - all pictures are the author's 

Depot at Pretoria On 11th November 1980 a class 19D 4-8-2 loco propels the 6E1 electric locomotive into the shed at Capital Park depot near Pretoria. Our shunter A closer view of the 19D.. I managed a footplate ride on this loco later around the depot - in the middle of a thunderstorm! Got very wet but dried off in front of the fire hole door.
15C with ballast Steam was very much in evidence in SA at the time - here is a Class 15C with a ballast train on the line between Rosslyn (outside Pretoria) and De Wilt A view down the line The same train passes the test loco heading for De Wilt
15C approaching A class 15C hauled train approaches on the line between Rosslyn and De Wilt 15C passing Later the train passes
Another 15C Class 15C on freight approaching Pretoria from Jo'burg later on The same train further down the line
15C with electric loco The shunter used to move the electric loco from under the wires was a North British Class 15F 4-8-2 locomotive  Close up A A class 15CA No:2853 at Rosslyn
Taking water A class 15CA No:2853 replenishes its tender at Rosslyn Numberplate 15CA The typical SAR loco number plate - this belongs to a class 15CA
 More steam More steam on the adjacent line The class 15F 4-8-2 light engine passes Rosslyn station en route back to the Capital Park depot
 Outside the depot A class 15C 4-8-2 No:2963 and a class S1 0-8-0 outside Germiston 2963 Germiston Close up of the class 15C which appears to be 'bulled up'
15C with freight and it passes with a freight Class 15CA 

Another class S1 0-8-0 outside the depot

Germiston arrivals There was a constant procession of steam arriving for servicing Garratt at Germiston A class GEA 4-8-2-2-8-4 Beyer Garratt on shed
Class 15CA A class 15CA 4-8-2 outside the shed Class 15C A class 15F 4-8-2 outside the shed
The locomotive sheds A general view of the sheds more locomotive sheds And more
and more locomotive sheds And more Class 15CA Class 15CA at Germiston
Servicing Class 15C Inside a Class 15C undergoes servicing Another 15C another rests between duties
Inside Germiston shed  A Class 15C in the shed 3040 inside Class 15C No:3040 in the shed
Rosie There were some favourite locos which were polished to perfection - here's a class 12R named 'Rosie' Rosie again

More attention is lavished on 'Rosie'

Rosie from insode  'Rosie' from inside the shed laid up

Stored locomotives were all around

Maintenance work Major work was undertaken on the depot - here a class 15CA undergoes a heavy repair Tea break

Another loco in pieces

Coaling stage The coaling stage was a massive structure Coaling stage

The loco rolls down towards the coal shutes

Class S1 Class S1 0-8-0 next to the coaling stage Class S1

Class S1 0-8-0 outside the shed

Stored More stored locomotives Class S1

Class S1 0-8-0 outside the depot

More stored locos Yet more stored locomotives Stored tank loco

and more - including a Class J Tank Locomotive

Rosslyn Shunting at Rosslyn with class 15C - photo taken from the footplate of our 15C Rosslyn

More shunting at Rosslyn with class 15C

main line Another 15CA on the main line Plinth outside Joburg station

Temporary resting place for steam in South Africa - a class 16B 4-6-2 No:805 outside Johannesburg station- now in the OUTENIQUA TRANSPORT MUSEUM at George in the Eastern Cape.

The 16B class Pacific 805 was built by the North British Locomotive Company in 1917. She was later re-boilered and became a 16BR but, following withdrawal in June, 1972, she was re-fitted with an original style Belpaire firebox and became a 16B again. She was plinthed at Johannesburg Station in the 1970's

If anybody can add any more detail to the captions (particularly the stored locos) it would be appreciated

For those of you who may be interested in steam in Southern Africa  there is a great site here. Another small sample of pictures taken in the 1980's at Germiston is here

A new steam blog site for SA steam here


Back to SAR page

Back to main index