28 April 2011

Cape Town - Monument Station: Atlantic Rail's operation of SAR 24 #3655 (in steam)


A Celebration of Images



My special thanks to each of the photographers, who without hesitation, gave permission for their images to be shown in this blog entry.

Usually this blog concerns itself with raising awareness about old cold and forgotten steam locomotives - hoping that, maybe, this will lead to more active preservation of some of these fascinating relics of the industrial revolution.

However, when Shane Swartz inquired whether I would be interested in posting photos of Atlantic Rail's SAR 24 #3655 operation, I felt that, yes, we can take the liberty on the blog of celebrating at least one locomotive with a valid boiler certificate as a show case of the ultimate restoration result - and in the Cape Peninsula we have such a magnificent background against which to do so!!!

As this entry stands now, it represents the successful endeavours of several photographers to catch most pleasing images of #3655 as she goes about her task of working the Atlantic Rail train. I have tried to comment and credit each photo correctly - please contact me if something is out of line ...


Brief Background


The following information comes from Atlantic Rail's facebook page:

"Steam haulage officially ended on South African Railways in 1991. Since that time enthusiasts have been working to keep steam heritage alive. Two such enthusiasts are Ian Pretorius and Greg Smith of Cape Town who recently formed Atlantic Rail. For many years there have been no heritage trains operating in the Cape Town area and Atlantic Rail aims to shortly rectify this situation by running weekend steam hauled day trips between Cape Town and Simonstown."

"At present Atlantic Rail operates a 130 ton ex SAR class 24 2-8-4 steam locomotive built in 1948 and historic coaches which were saved by enthusiasts of the Cape Western Railway Society who were unfortunately unable to operate them on the national rail network. It has taken nearly two years of hard work by Atlantic Rail to bring the rolling stock up to a standard suitable for public use and obtain the necessary agreements to run with the Rail Safety Regulator, Transnet and Metrorail."

"In addition to the operational train, Atlantic Rail is the guardian of three other locomotives which are part of the Transnet National Collection. It is hoped that eventually they too can be restored to running condition. One of this trio is the ‘Red Devil’ which was converted in 1981 from an earlier type into one of the worlds most powerful, modern and efficient steam locomotives."

"Both Ian and Greg are passionate about steam and heritage transport in general. Being lifelong enthusiasts they have great experience in the preservation and operation of both trains and heritage road transport. Ian started his rail career in SANRASM, a rail preservation group from Johannesburg and later ran the successful Union Limited steam railtour operation for the Transnet Heritage Foundation. Greg is an English enthusiast who started a couple of succesful preservation schemes in the UK and also preserved many historic road vehicles, he came to live in South Africa in 2002 since when he has become involved in the heritage transport revival in Cape Town. Greg and Ian are assisted in their endeavours by the recently formed ‘Friends of Atlantic Rail’ a group of volunteers who give their time and labour free of charge and they feel that this is an important step as the specialist knowledge of running and maintaining steam locomotives needs to be taken up by a younger generation to provide for the nations transport heritage in the future."

Class 24 No 3655 belongs to the Cape Western Railway Museum Trust, and the locomotive and coaches are on lease to Atlantic Rail, this used to be the consist that operated the Epping Market Choo Choo.



Atlantic Rail Open Day: 8 Aug 2010



On Saturday 28 June 2008, class 24 2-8-4 no 3655 hauled the first steam trip for Atlantic Rail ending a 16 month steam drought in the Western Cape.


12:48 8 Aug 2010 - Atlantic Rail Open Day: This 5 second time exposure shows the coaches behind #3655 being filled with passengers, before departing for another run. Image courtesy of Fanie Kleynhans - this photo first published on RailPictures.


This photo courtesy of Brett Bradloff. SAR Class 24 #3655 has her own Wikipedia page here.

The locomotive in use at Atlantic Rail is No. 3655 (Builder's Number: NBL 26367) and was originally used in the then South West Africa (now Namibia). After being withdrawn from service there, she was used at the Paarden Eiland / Belville. Later, 3655 was moved to Touws River in the Karoo for use on the Ladismith branch line until that was shut down. 3655 was then left idle and unused in Touws River until she was donated to Cape Western Vintage Railways who restored her. FoAR member Kenny Campbell was on the footplate when 3655 was fetched from Touws River.

3655 is now leased by Atlantic Rail from Cape Western Vintage Railways and Atlantic Rail has taken over responsibility for maintaining her.


In mid 2010 Atlantic Rail was a new operator planning to return steam to the Cape Town area. They planned to run trains along the ultra-scenic commuter rail line to Simonstown. An open day was held on Sunday 8th August 2010. Here we see the train start from the old parcels platform at Cape Town station. The other star of the day was stored Class 26 No. 3450 "The Red Devil" which had been cleaned up by AR volunteers and put on display. Maybe, just maybe, one day we'll see her in steam on the front of an AR train! These comments were made by the photographer Peter Rogers. The image was first uploaded to RailPictures.

Getting Atlantic Rail off the ground was with many difficulties, but these were finally cracked with a lot of personal financial sacrifice; also a lot of help from many different sources. It shows that there are still some really good souls out there who actually care about keeping steam on rail – no tons of coal donated here! By the way in 2008 a ton of coal in Cape Town cost in excess of R1 000 and so did a boiler flue tube for a class 24.


Monument Station




8 August 2010. #3655 leaves Monument station and looks diminutive against the almost alive Red Devil, which shines after gathering dust for a couple of years. The Red Devil is the sole member (#3450) of SAR Class 26 - more information here on Wikipedia. Photo courtesy of Shane Swartz.


12 December 2010. #3655 on her way. Photo courtesy of Stefan Andrzejewski.

8 August 2010. 3655 heading the Atlantic Rail train at Monument. This photo was first published to RRPictureArchives.NET by the photographer Col André Kritzinger.

Class 24 No 3655 belongs to the Cape Western Railway Museum Trust and the locomotive and coaches are on lease to Atlantic Rail - this used to be the consist that operated the Epping Market Choo Choo.


8 August 2010. 3655 heading the Atlantic Rail train at Monument. This photo was first published to Wikimedia by the photographer Col André Kritzinger.

On 24 September 2008 (Heritage Day), Ian Pretorius’ new Atlantic Rail venture ran another well-supported steam-hauled trip to Simon’s Town behind class 24 no 3655. Passengers – who braved a cold, wet day (maximum temperature 15 degrees) – enjoyed a bonus along the False Bay coast, where some 15 whales were spotted. The Simon’s Town Fire Department provided water for the locomotive and Rikki’s Taxis ran passengers to and from the town centre.


Shane's title here "Model Train" - 27 February 2011 - photo courtesy of Shane Swartz.

The train leaves Cape Town and travels between the famous Newlands rugby and cricket grounds to Muizenburg. Traveling on to False Bay where the view of the ocean is spectacular. The railway line skirts the rocks as it travels through the quaint village of Kalk Bay, then snakes through Fish Hoek and Glencairn, finally coming to an end in Simonstown with a view of the naval dockyard.


Muizenberg




Muizenberg station - 27 February - photo courtesy Shane Swartz


Near St James station - Muizenberg in background. photo courtesy Shane Swartz



Kalk Bay to Simon's Town




Kalk Bay Viaduct - December 2010 - photo courtesy of Shane Swartz.


Kalk Bay Viaduct - April 2011 - photo courtesy of Brett Radloff.


Atlantic Rail's locomotive "City of Cape Town", Class 24, No 3655 on it's way through St. James (Fish Hoek). St. James tidal pool in foreground, 12.12.2010 - Photo kind courtesy of Beat H Schweizer. This image was first posted here on www.bahnbilder.de.


In the Clovelly bend just before Fish Hoek; 12.12.2010 - Photo kind courtesy of Beat H Schweizer. This image was first posted here on www.bahnbilder.de.


In the Clovelly bend just before Fish Hoek; 12.12.2010 - Photo kind courtesy of Beat H Schweizer. This image was first posted here on www.bahnbilder.de.


Nearing Sunny Cove Station: 15 February 2011 Photo courtesy Shane Swartz.


Nearing Sunny Cove station with Fish Hoek in the background. Shane commented: There's a foot bridge just before Sunny Cove station - I was standing on the stairs to get this angle for the previous two photos. 15 February 2011 Photo courtesy Shane Swartz.


12 December 2011 - Steam Train & Sea Water ... Along the edge of False Bay - Photo courtesy Brett Radloff.


12 December 2011 - Nearing Glencairn Station - Photo courtesy Brett Radloff.



Simon's Town




Nearing Glencairn Station - Photo courtesy Shane Swartz.


Glencairn Station - Photo courtesy of Stefan Andrzejewski.

By 2011, the Atlantic Rail company was running successful steam train trips from Cape Town to Simon’s Town behind class 24 2-8-4 no 3655 on Sunday 27 February, and repeating the excursion on Sunday 6 March. The train made one intermediate stop at Kalk Bay (2km before Fish Hoek) and returned after a break of three hours at Simon’s Town. The adult return fare was R220, children 3-12, R110. At a lesser figure the 72km operation (there and back) would not be viable because of the heavy costs involved – like R10,000 for the six tons of coal consumed on every trip.



12:14 12 December 2010. Photo courtesy of Mel Andrzejewski.


12:21 12 December 2010. The train has been bogged down by windblown sand. The last section of the track to Simon's Town had been in disuse for months after damage by the sea to the track foundation. When the Atlantic Rail train got permission to go through to Simon's Town the line had not been reopened officially yet. Only one man works here, because only the fireman's shovel was available. Eventually the solution was to gently let the locomotive roll the sand out of the way. Photo courtesy of Mel Andrzejewski.


27 March 2011 - The Atlantic Rail train has arrived in Simon's Town and the passengers have free time to spend as they like before the train departs again. Photo courtesy of Allan Roy.


27 March 2011 - The Atlantic Rail train in Simon's Town - 3655 being inspected by a AR staff menber. Photo courtesy of Allan Roy.


Simon's Town Siding - 27 February 2011 - photo courtesy of Shane Swartz.


Simon's Town Siding - 27 February 2011 - photo courtesy of Shane Swartz.


Simon's Town Siding - 27 February 2011 - photo courtesy of Shane Swartz.


Atlantic Rail ready for departure from Simons Town's platform 1, with Class 24 No. 3655 running backwards to Monument Station at Cape Town. 27 March 2011 photo courtesy of Brett Radloff.


27 March 2011: Atlantic Rail's Class 24 No. 3655 is equally at home running tender-first for the return journey from Simonstown. This image courtesy of Peter Rogers - it was first published on RailPictures.




The train is coming back from Simon's Town - as there are no facilities to turn the locomotive, it is now heading the train backward. Photo courtesy Shane Swartz.


With a cowcatcher on both ends of the engine, the Class 24 #3655 is at ease doing the job in any direction. Photo courtesy Shane Swartz.


13 February 2011 - On the way back to Cape Town, the Atlantic Rail train spends some time at Sunny Cove station. Photo courtesy Allan Roy.


13 February 2011 - At Sunny Cove station - Fish Hoek town visible in the background. Photo courtesy Allan Roy.


13 February 2011 - Sunny Cove station - 3655 lets off some excess steam. Photo courtesy Allan Roy.


13 February 2011 - Atlantic Rail train departing Sunny Cove station. Photo courtesy Allan Roy.


Some home base images




8 August 2010 - Early hours of the morning 1 - Photo courtesy of Brett Radloff.


8 August 2010 - Early hours of the morning 2 - Photo courtesy of Brett Radloff.


April 2011 - "The night shift" - A super shiny 3655 stands at Monument's platform 29 in the early hours of the morning. Photo courtesy of Brett Radloff.


April 2011 - "The night shift" - A super shiny 3655 stands at Monument's platform 29 in the early hours of the morning. Photo courtesy of Brett Radloff.


This photo taken Sunday evening 24 April 2011: Peter commented: "Spent an interesting weekend with the guys from Atlantic Rail. They ran two 'Easter Bunny' trains on Easter Monday 2011 from Cape Town via Langa, Bonteheuwel, Belville and return. Last night I joined them for the lighting up of the loco. The photo shows a bit of a haze around the loco as the fire starts drawing. This image was first published in the FOTR forum and is courtesy of Peter Rogers.


12:22 25 April 2011. Here #3655 is all ready for duty. On the right are the former SPIER coaches. Photo courtesy of Stefan Andrzejewski.



25 April 2011 - A shot by Pat with Kenny oiling under the engine


25 April 2011: #3655 on her way to take on water. Photo courtesy of Stefan Andrzejewski.



1 May 2011 taking on water - Photo courtesy of Stefan Andrzejewski.



"Other" Images




Atlantic Rail Santa Special 18 December 2010 - #3655 rounds the bend at Parow Golf club on the afternoon Santa Special - Photo courtesy of Stefan Andrzejewski.


Ndabeni - 3655 was crawling up the bank here, and sounded wonderful! Bit of wheel slip too near the top! 1 May 2011 - photo courtesy of Brett Radloff


25 April 2011 Easter Monday - Atlantic Rail ran two 'Easter Bunny' trains from Cape Town via Langa, Bonteheuwel, Belville and return. This image shows the morning run near Epping - Old Mutual HQ in Pinelands in the background - This photo is courtesy of Peter Rogers and was first published on the FOTR forum and also in RailPictures.


16:48 28 June 2008: Milnerton - The Atlantic Rail train rolling along the Table Bay sunset route towards the harbour in the back where the loco (#3655) will run around, and the train will come back this way. Image courtesy of Fanie Kleynhans. First uploaded to RailPictures.

This trip was along the Table Bay Sunset route, which meanders around the Atlantis line - underneath the Ysterplaat underpass - running along Table Bay to Unity Yard, and returning via the same route. Departure was at 15:00, due back by 18:00.


18:01 28 June 2008: Milnerton: Here she (#3655) comes back .... Image courtesy of Fanie Kleynhans. First uploaded to RailPictures.


18:02 28 June 2008: Milnerton: A brilliant photo! Image courtesy of Fanie Kleynhans. First uploaded to RailPictures.

Recent Images provided by Shane Swartz

A splendid set of wish-I-were-there images provided by Shane Swartz in April 2015:

 Jenny at LAKESIDE (16 Dec 2013)

16DA 879 [KATIE] is the latest addition to Atlantic Rail's fleet of steam engines.
Her first trip to Simon's Town was on 27 April 2014. A ceremony was held where she was renamed "Katie" in honour of Atlantic Rail Director Ian Pretorius' grand-daughter and daughter of Atlantic Rail Director Sarah-Jane Nielsen. The full history of the restoration of the 16DA no879 may be read on Atlantic Rail's webpage.

 16DA no879 [KATIE] at Simon's Town on 27 April 2014

 16DA no879 [KATIE] at Simon's Town on 27 April 2014

 16DA no879 [KATIE] at Simon's Town on 25 May 2014

 16DA no879 [KATIE] on her way back home on 25 May 2014

16DA no879 [KATIE] near Simon's Town on 29 June 2014

 16DA no879 [KATIE] near Simon's Town on 29 June 2014

16DA no879 [KATIE] crossing the Black River at 11h06 on 10 August 2014



Earlier Era Images



11 March 2005 - Milnerton - The Spier sunset cocktail train piloted by #3655, riding at sunset along beautiful Table Bay. This image courtesy Fanie Kleynhans was found on RailPictures.


9 May 2006: 3655 for Roadworthy at Culemborg Yard - photo courtesy of Brett Radloff.


11 May 2006 #3655 at Monument Station - photo courtesy of Brett Radloff.


24 May 2006 - 3655, spending the day at Culemborg for servicing - photo courtesy of Brett Radloff.




Galleries
Danie van der Merwe: 2011 Valentines Day Steam Train to Fish Hoek on flickr. This also shows the insides of the vintage coaches.

Videos



Youtube Video: Atlantic Rail's SAR 24 3655 in action. Length: 00:01:55, Date: 9 August 2010. Author: Transkaroo Detail: Cape Town's first sighting of steam for a couple of years. Here Class 24 3655 goes through her paces delighting thousands of fans young and old alike. Although the trip was just in and out of Monument Station everyone alighted with broad smiles on their Faces. Long live steam in Cape Town . Youtube Video: Atlantic Rail's SAR 24 3655 in action. Length: 00:00:49, Date: February 2011. Author: Allan Roy Detail: Atlantic Rail leaving Sunnycove station for Fish Hoek . Youtube Video: Atlantic Rail's SAR 24 3655 in action. Length: 00:01:40, Date: 09 January 2011. Author: Chairmansa Detail: 1948 Class 24 steam locomotive hauling 1930's carriages operating in the Western Cape,South Africa under Atlantic Rail.Photoshoot drive past Glencairn Sunday 09 January 2011. . Youtube Video: Atlantic Rail's SAR 24 3655 in action. Length: 00:02:02, Date: 30 Janruary 2011. Author: Chairmansa Detail: Steam train Atlantic Rail through Heathfield Station Sunday January 30 2011 Facebook video uploaded by Andre Kritzinger: taken on 1 May 2011 at Monument Station, Cape Town.
Additional Information
Atlantic Rail has it own webpage, where one may find schedules for steam day trips and other information including a comprehensive gallery of photos. Atlantic Rail is also here on facebook.

4 comments:

  1. Skitterend! Absolutely fabulous! Thanks for sharing! Hennie Heymans

    ReplyDelete
  2. Een van die dae gaan ek ook op hierdie trein. Manjifiek - dankie vir al die foto's in inligting wat so mildelik gedeel word. Dis kosbaar.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This link will select coaches relative to Atlantic Rail submitted in the Flickr Group "Clerestory Coaches (Railways)"

    http://www.flickr.com/search/groups/?z=t&w=2031425%40N22&m=pool&q=atlantic+rail

    ReplyDelete