WHY ARE SOME OLD SAR LOCOMOTIVES STORED AT 93 Ammo Depot, Jan Kempdorp?
ANSWER: On 16 October 2007 Robert wrote to the sar-L Yahoo group:
The reason there is a number of SAR steam locos staged at Jan Kempdorp, is that in the 1990's, following the closure to steam of Millsite (as a result of the cessation of the hire contract to Rustenburg and the move of the centre of THF operations to Cape Town/Voorbaai), it became apparent that security would be a problem at Millsite (don't we know it). The late Alan Clarke set out to move as much as he could to Jan Kempdorp, where it would be kept secure from the scrap thieves. Unfortunately, upon his untimely death in a road traffic collision, all impetus was lost and only the 15 or so locos made it. The remainder, as we know, were left vulnerable at Millsite.
In June 2010 Jacque & John Wepener reported as follows to the sar-L group on Yahoo:
Now the actual reason for our trip was to go and have look at the stored steam locomotives at 93 Ammo Depot.
These locomotives are staged INSIDE a SADF army base and access is not easy. After quite some time and explaining and also having the right people at the gates and with the right attitude, on both sides, we were allowed to be escorted into the depot with very, very special permission.
Here we found the following locos 3528, 2742, 3498, 2678, 3409, 2689, 2680, 3130, 3438, 3453, 34?? either 3439 or 3462.
We traveled right through the base and checked all the sidings and these were the only locos we found.
If there are some missing (as in John Middleton's book) then maybe they are hidden away somewhere else.
They do not look too good, rust and peeling paint all around.
The cabs have had everything removed, the seats are gone.
Bees have moved into almost all of the steam cylinders and one must tread carefully.
Some smoke boxes are open, some arms are missing, a dome or two are lying on the ground. Axle boxes have been opened.
Most of the exterior piping and the works remain intact.
White paint on the locos clearly state "DO NOT STRIP / MOENIE STRIP NIE". A bit too late ??
The painted numbers on the locos are peeling and can't be identified.
The tenders on some of the 25NC's carry different numbers as the locos.
There is a yellow shunting diesel and a light blue shunting diesel as well.
The staff tell us they still receive a train every now and then. Mostly by road though. These locos basically are in the state of most stored locos around the country that have now been cut up, unfortunately.
Thanks to the friendly guys at 93 Ammo depot Jan Kempdorp.
J & J.