David did two other trips on the LS line; in June 1979, and in November 1980.
David wrote in April 2010: I finally unearthed the Ladismith slides from my first trip. For this one, my dad drove us up (me, my brother and sister. We parked at Touws River station, and we hopped on the train to Ladismith. I clearly remember it being FREEZING, and of course, the heater in the coach decided to die. I'm still trying to warm up 31 years later!
Interestingly, our trip was inspired by that famous CP Lewis photo of the class 7 - the one you include in your blog:
May 1971 photo courtesy © CP Lewis. This was the Makadas headed by Class 7A no. 1011 working up the last mile into Ladismith. This brilliant picture appears as a double page spread in THE GREAT STEAM TREK published in 1978.
Unfortunately, the slides themselves were lousy quality. I must have used some crapola no-name brand, and they all have a pink cast on them, plus horizontal lines across the middle. However, I did a little Photoshopping, and now they're somewhat presentable.
As always, feel free to use them, or simply enjoy a little history.
Taking the last bend towards Ladismith Station.
The train came in uphill, and under this bridge, to enter Ladismith station.
From the bridge this was the view of Ladismith station. At the far end of the station, the class 24 can be seen taking in water into its auxiliary tank. On the left - just before the goods shed, people are busy loading/unloading freight.
A closer shot.
Still taking on water - already refueled with coal.
A peaceful scene.
The engine marches up from the water point to resume her task.
Awaiting departure for Touws River.
Pedestrians continue to use a bypass in front of the train.
Refueling at the coal bunker.
A closeup at the 144 km post - the distance to Touws River.
Some oxen had to catch the train!
Loading the cattle. Note the loco driver on the left, who had to move the train a few yards every now and then, to line up the next cattle truck door with the gangway for the animals.
The train on its way with the cattle trucks loaded. A refrigerator truck, with its outboard cooling unit visible, is seen near the front of the train. This may have been loaded with the famous Ladismith cheese destined for Cape Town.
On the way to Touws River - around sunset.
A wayside station scene on the way to Touws River.
Sunset from a Steam Train and the end of a memorable day.
Return to the Ladismith Makadas entry.