22 September 2009

Krugersdorp - SANRASM, Orenstein & Koppel 12691/1936


September 2010 photo courtesy Derek Walker


2009 photo courtesy Derek Walker

Derek Walker spotted this strange little engine plinthed somewhere in the yards of the SANRASM at Krugersdorp. Indeed a contraption! Looks like someone had fun welding together bits and pieces from all over !!! What a disfigurement! An immense challenge for any restorer.

Fortunately, with the clues Derek gave - namely that the boilerplate is from Orenstein & Koppel, and that he assumed the watertank was located below the boiler, this was enough to identify the loco with the help of John Middleton & Huw Williams publication "Industrial Locomotives of South Africa 1991" plus amendments up to Sept 1995.


2009 photo courtesy Derek Walker

The "boiler on wheels" looks so queer because:
  1. the cabin has been heavily modified, and
  2. the locomotive's boiler has lost it's cladding metal sheets with insulation - exposing the boiler itself.
This locomotive is built for 2 feet 0 in gauge by Orenstein & Koppel A.G., Berlin, Germany; it was built in 1936 as works no 12691. It has a 60HP design and is a 0-4-0WT type; "WT" indicates "Well Tank" as the water tank is located below the boiler and between the wheels in order to lower center of gravity on the narrow gauge.

The locomotive no 12691 started life at New Machavie Gold Mine Ltd, Klerksdorp, when she joined sister O&K 12689/1935 at the same location. New Machavie also had a 3rd 60HP O&K no 12993/1937. Later O&K no 12691 was used by Dominion Reefs Ltd, Klerksdorp.


2009 photo courtesy Derek Walker


Photo courtesy Hannes Paling showing the O&K plinthed in Witbank at Dunn's. The oversized headlamp was obviously later swopped with another non authentic one ... not a problem with locos coming and going all the time at Dunn's!

Since at least 1974, the locomotive was "preserved" outside the main offices of Dunn's Locomotive and Boiler Engineering Works (Pty) in Witbank.

Dunn's was the last firm in SA offering a comprehensive steam locomotive repair service.

This photo was taken by Dennis Mitchell in Nov 1974. Zezela no 3 is plinthed in the middel of the picture, the O&K loco is barely visible to the left.

The Dunn's firm went in liquidation and finally closed down in August 1994. Subsequently the O&K locomotive was moved to SANRASM at Krugerdorp - where she still was in 2009.

From the O&K Catalogue

Peter Ziegenfuß, from Cologne in Germany, has kindly provided a copy of a relevant O&K catalog page, with specification details about the 60HP 0-4-0WT locomotive:

The 600mm gauge locomotive was available in various power versions: 60, 90, 160 and 180HP. The catalog stated that in the lower powered versions a "good working" spark arrestor was installed in the conical chimney. (For the higher powered loco's the arrestor was placed in the smokebox.)

The engine has cylinders with 230mm diameter x 325mm stroke length. The wheels have a diameter of 650mm, and the distance between the 2 axles is 1,6 meter. The water tank capacity is 750 l, while the engine could carry 600 l of coal. The empty weight of the loco is 8,4 tons, and the working weight 10,6 tons. The maximum speed of the engine is 25km/h.


This image, with text in German, contains some details about the specifications of these locomotives.

QUESTION - Are there any photos of the original engine?

We currently do not have a picture of this engine in the days when she was still in operation at the mines. Perhaps someone can dig up a picture! The following pictures have been sourced from Martin Murray's web page "Preserved Orenstein & Koppel Steam Locomotives" and these give some indication what the 60HP 2ft gauge O&K locomotive at SANRASM may have looked like in her earlier life. These little workhorses consisted of fairly standard designs, which did not change for much many years, and some of the engines were built in advance to be available "off the shelf" when the customer wanted one or more.

Bear in mind that the two 600mm gauge engines below were 30 and 50 HP designs, where as the loco at SANRASM is a 60HP design, so some small differences are to be expected.


1998 photo by Martin Murray - showing O&K 11206/1925 - 30HP 2ft gauge design. This engine was plinthed at Hotel Bremen, Villa General Belgrano, Cordoba province, Argentina. It did service at José Minetti, Malagueño cement works. Picture sourced here.


1998 photo by Martin Murray - showing O&K 12721/1936 - 50HP 2ft gauge design; this engine worked on the Carl Brandt railway at Bremen in Germany and was later sold to a private buyer in the USA where this picture was taken - picture sourced here.

Some O&K locomotives which have worked in South Africa:
  1. From 1907 to 1949 the South Western Railway Co. Ltd. (SWR) operated a 2-foot gauge line between Knysna and Deepwalls. The company operated 3 O&K locomotives": (a) Orenstein & Koppel 1775/1906 50HP Wood burner 0-4-2T - SWR Loco No.1, (b) Orenstein & Koppel 2240/1907 100HP Wood burner 0-6-2T - SWR Loco No.2 (c) Orenstein & Koppel 4880/1907 150HP Wood burner 0-8-0T - SWR Loco No.3. These locomotives were all scrapped after 1949. More details here.
  2. Orenstein & Koppel 2510/1907 40HP design type 0-4-0WT (well tank) is a 2-foot/600mm gauge engine which used to be plinthed at the The Train Restaurant at Halfway House on the old Pretoria Road. By 2006 the locomotive was at Sandstone (Hoekfontein) awaiting restoration. This small O&K is of the 40hp type; being delivered from new in Aug 1907 by O&K to J. L. Hulett & Sons Ltd in Natal to work on their extensive system. It was later sold to Luipaardsvlei Estates and Gold Mining Co. to become their number 4. It is believed that it then spent some time plinthed at Krugersdorp Safari Park before moved to the Orient Express (later the Train Restaurant) at Halfway House near Johannesburg. Initially it was in good condition outside the restaurant, but when the restaurant was closed for some time, it became vandalised. In 2003 it was purchased from the restaurant on its final closure, and is now at Hoekfontein, awaiting its turn in the restoration queue. Picture and details here.
  3. Orenstein & Koppel 4102/1910 currently at Sandstone 0-4-0WT 50HP design. Built in Berlin, number 4102 is only one of three 600mm gauge examples owned by local companies which exist from this prolific German manufacturer. Delivered in 1910 it is of the 50hp type. Originally used at West Rand Consolidated Mines it was sold to Vogelspruit Gold Mining Areas Ltd in 1936 and retired when the mine regauged to 3’6”. In 1952 it appears to have been rebuilt for use on the children’s railway at the mine. On the mine closure in 1968, it was transferred to West Driefontein, before being donated to the Midmar 2ft project in 1990. Some restoration work was done here, but was unfinished, when the Midmar railway was closed in 1998. Together with a number of other items, the O&K was put up for auction, and sold to the 2ft Preservation Trust, and moved to Port Elizabeth. The new owners were keen for the loco to be restored, and it was transferred on loan to Sandstone in 2002. Pictures and more details here.
  4. Orenstein & Koppel 11092/1925 named "WENDY"; (for 1ft 6in/457mm gauge) - 30 HP 0-4-0WT formerly at Musina (formerly Messina) Library Forecourt, Ex Messina Ltd, Messina Copper Mine. Apparently, at about 1990, the loco was moved to the Musina SAR station forecourt. Anyone able to verify that this loco is still at this location. Any photos? The Messina Copper Mine also had another 457mm gauge O&K 12172/1930 0-6-0T engine.
  5. Orenstein & Koppel 12691/1936 - 60HP design, 600mm, a 0-4-0WT type - in 2009 at SANRASM, Krugersdorp as described in the present blog entry.
Orenstein & Koppel brief Notes:

Around 1890 Koppel was already a world institution with works in Bochum and Camen, Germany, and branches at Brussels, Bucharest, Cairo, Hamburg, Johannesburg, London, Madrid, Moscow, New York, Paris and St. Petersburg.

First founded in 1892 in Schlachtensee, in the Zehlendorf district of Berlin, and known as the Märkische Lokomotivfabrik, the O&K factories expanded to supply the Imperial German Army under Kaiser Wilhelm II with field service locomotives or Feldbahn. All manner of railway equipment were supplied to the Army. Feldbahn locomotives were built by other manufacturers too. Because of strained capacity at the Schlachtensee shops, work transferred in 1899 to a site in Nowawes, later Babelsberg, near Potsdam. Around 1908 the firm of Gerlach und König in Nordhausen was taken over, and petrol and diesel locomotives were built here under the trade mark Montania.

About 14000 O&K locomotives were built between 1892 and 1945. Many of these were of the light Feldbahn type for 600mm gauge, and quite a few of these found their way to Southern Africa. Unfortunately most of the units have been scrapped long ago.

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