At the Office - Dunn's Engineering Witbank: 16 October 1973 image kind courtesy of Roger Griffiths.
At SANRASM Krugersdorp: September 2010 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:
- the cabin has been heavily modified, and
- the locomotive's boiler has lost it's cladding metal sheets with insulation - exposing the boiler itself.
The locomotive O&K 12691/1936 started life as No 2 at New Machavie Gold Mine Ltd, at the Buffelsdoorn Mine near Klerksdorp, where she joined No 1, her sister O&K 12689/1935 at the same location. New Machavie also acquired a 3rd 60HP O&K no 12993/1937. The mine closed in 1945, after which O&K no 12691 was sold to Dominion Reefs Ltd, also near Klerksdorp. The fates of the sister locomotives are unknown. By at least 1973 no 12691 was plinthed in front of the offices of Dunns Engineering in Witbank. After Dunns went bankrupt in Aug 1994, the remains of the little engine was stored at SANRASM Krugersdorp until that site's demise and clean-up around 2010. Sandstone Estates rescued the "scrap" and the undertook the mammoth task of practically completely rebuilding her into a beautiful working steam engine which was proudly presented at the 2015 Stars of Sandstone event.
2009 photo courtesy Derek Walker
At least since 1973, the locomotive was "preserved" outside the main offices of Dunn's Locomotive and Boiler Engineering Works (Pty) in Witbank.
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!
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. With the demise of the SANRASM site the remains of the little engine was rescued by Sandstone and lovingly restored in Bloemfontein at the Sandstone facility. Many images of the restoration process may be found on the Sandstone Heritage site by entering the number 12691 into the search box.
The next series of 2015 images have been sourced from Sandstone Heritage pages,
Resurrected in Bloemfontein at the Sandstone facility by Lucas Nel and his team, O&K 12691 shortly after it arrived at Sandstone. Image: Sandstone Heritage
Orenstein & Koppel 12691/1936: Here Sandstone director Wilfred Mole takes part in the christening of MONTANA - named after one of Wilfred's granddaughters. Image: Gary Barnes via Sandstone Heritage
MONTANA with a mine hopper in tow - the hopper also carries the name NEW MACHAVIE GOLD MINE LTD CO where Orenstein & Koppel 12691/1936 was first put into service. Image: Sandstone Heritage
Orenstein & Koppel 12691/1936 "MONTANA" on the left with master locomotive restorer Lucas Nel in the middle. On the right is Avonside 1624/1913 "IXANTHE". Both engines were rescued in extremely poor state from the SANRASM site at Krugersdorp, and truly tested the determination and skills of Lucas and his team in Bloemfontein to revive these current beauties back to life!!! Image: Sandstone Heritage
Above and below: Just to remind us what Orenstein & Koppel 12691/1936 and Avonside 1624/1913 looked like when sent to Lucas Nel's team in Bloemfontein in early 2011. Images: Sandstone Heritage
Here Orenstein & Koppel 12691/1936 ("Montana") now carries her original 1936 owner's name on the cab:
The 60 horse power steam locomotive 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. Below the boiler between the wheels 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.
Here Orenstein & Koppel 12691/1936 ("Montana") is heading a quadruple of O&K loco's going out to Grootdraai. Image: Gary Barnes via Sandstone Heritage
Stars Of Sandstone 2015 - Vintage Steam Trains on SABC's Expresso TV program.
In the less than 5 minute Youtube video above you will get several brief glimpses of O&K 12691/1936 "Montana" steaming at the Stars of Sandstone 2015 event.
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: 50, 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 locos 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Orenstein & Koppel 12691/1936 - 60HP design, 600mm, a 0-4-0WT type - in 2009 at SANRASM, Krugersdorp as described in the present blog entry.
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.
- John Middleton & Huw Williams publication "Industrial Locomotives of South Africa 1991" plus amendments up to Sept 1995
- Martin Murray's webpage "Preserved Orenstein & Koppel Steam Locomotives"
- Relevant pages on the Sandstone website.
- Orenstein & Koppel information on Wikipedia
- Articles in the THE INDUSTRIAL RAILWAY RECORD (1) THE ORIGINS OF ORENSTEIN & KOPPEL