29 April 2013

Rayton, Getaway Farm (Van der Merwe), Class 8DW no 1219

On http://getawaycoaches.co.za/ the following background information is shared: 

"In the midst of a farm outside of Rayton is a breakaway place out of the ordinary. Not only will you feel at home immediately, it will be the beginning of a trip down memory lane, especially for the older folk. Getaway Coaches is situated on the farm Rietfontein, about 4km from Rayton. The farm was inherited and certain buildings on the farm were originally the Van der Merwe Railway Station which was situated on the railway line from Pretoria to Machadodorp between Koedoespoort and the Rayton station. It was also en route to Lourenco Marques and the legend has it that the Kruger-millions was transported on this route and passed this station. This is also the place where the first fountain water, Seltzbach was bottled in 1890 and transported from the Van der Merwe-station to its end destination. The five coaches at Getaway Coaches were brought from Witrivier in Mpumalanga about ten years ago [year relative to not given, possibly 2013 - Piet] to the site of the original Van der Merwe-train station. What makes Getaway Coaches so unique is that you sleep in a train coach. There are three types of coaches. In the first coach the rooms have en suite-bathrooms, in the second coach there are sharing bathrooms and in the last two coaches the rooms are exactly like it is in a original train coach – with train bunks. Even the bathrooms is as it is in an original coach. Everywhere in the coaches are items that was unique to the old South African Railway-trains like “don’t throw objects out of the windows”-signs. Except for the trains that will give you a feeling of nostalgia, all over the premises are antique memorabilia. At Getaway Coaches we cater for anything from bachelor-, bachelorette- and birthday parties to get togethers, weddings or a relaxing night out. With the big lawn, open sliding windows, fires and a cash bar, all functions have a unique out of the ordinary feel to it. Throw in a lunch or dinner made specifically to your specifications and an activity or two and you have the perfect function. Getaway Coaches is about an half an hour’s drive from Pretoria."   Source: http://getawaycoaches.co.za/

Today the name "Van der Merwe" station or halt has long disappeared on the main line between Pretoria and Maputo. Its location is now marked only by an electrical sub-station. In 1896 the NZASM had to add, for various reasons, a number of extra halts/stations to the original ones. "Van der Merwe" was added between Elandsrivier and Eersten Fabrieken because of the existence of mines in the vicinity.

The 1st set of images was taken by Kobus van Wyk in April 2013.

In April 2013 Kobus van Wyk visited the Cullinan area - I asked him to scout the nearby GetawayFarms "Van der Merwe stasie" (west of Rayton) - as it happened it was only 20km from his stay-over. Van der Merwe station farm offers accommodation for groups - it is mentioned on the web, for example: http://www.safarinow.com/go/GetawayFarms. My interest in this farm "Van der Merwe station" stems from the Class 8DW no 1219 locomotive plinthed there. I wanted to learn about its present condition.

Quoting from Paxton & Bourne: The Cape Government Railway's (CGR) 8th class was conceived as a mixed-traffic locomotive equally suitable for goods and passenger work. They were designed by H.M. Beatty and had larger driving wheels than the 7th class. Beatty added a bogie to the front to improve the ride. The first order for the CGR consisted of 23 locomotives delivered by Neilson, Reid and Coin 1902 and 1903 and were placed in service throughout the Colony. In 1910 they became the SAR class 8.

The CGR's 2nd order of the 8th class was delivered in 1903 by Neilson, Reid and Co and the North British Locomotive Co. These 38 engines differed only slightly from the original order, and were later classified as Class 8D on the SAR.

Origin of Class "8DW": During A.G. Watson's term as chief mechanical engineer, many of the classes 8 - 8F were fitted with superheated boilers and either inside or outside admission piston valves. The classification of the inside admission was indicated with the suffix "W" while the outside admission engines retained their old classification.

They were a fine class of engine and saw service on every system of the SAR, becoming the mainstay of motive power on many branch lines in the 1920s. They ended their days on the shunting service until 1972, when all were withdrawn.

FLASH BACK TO THE PAST 1: 1972-08-19: Amongst the locomotives withdrawn from service and stored at Germiston shed was this 8DW class 4-8-0 1219. It was built by Neilson, Reid and Co of Glasgow in Scotland in 1903 as the Cape Government Railways 8th class  image (c) Ron Fisher [ sourced from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/train-pix/5733595084/] Note that some of the motion was already missing in 1972.

FLASH BACK TO THE PAST 2: A few months later after the previous image was taken,  the class 8DW 1219 was newly plinthed at Kempton Park Stn - Image taken 15.9.1973 (c) George Woods.

Somehow the locomotive was unplinthed again - For many years she was stored at the REEFSTEAMERS shed in Germiston. John Middleton's guide lists the locomotive as a former THF "loan" locomotive. Perhaps someone can explain how it came that REEFSTEAMERS let go of her and when and under which arrangement she got to be sent to Van der Merwe stasie?

Of course it carries an incorrect number plate! How this number plate landed here on the cab is unknown to me.

Note that some of her present missing motion had already been removed in 1972 - an image of her then, by Ron Fischer, may be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/train-pix/5733595084/

At the end of May 2013 Peter van Rensburg (thanks) provided the next 5 images of the same place:

Hennie Heymans took the following images on 31 May 2013 and published them on Facebook - these images are duplicated here with the kind permission of Hennie  - thank you!

As far as I can figure out, Van der Merwe railway station proper was erected on the old NZASM line in 1896.

Red lights come on when a creeper encroaches on a locomotive!

Of course it carries an incorrect number plate! How this number plate landed here on the cab is unknown to me.

The tender has the number 1179 which formerly belonged to a 8C class locomotive.

1 comment:

  1. Really not worhtwhile. Please do not do any bookings. Was not willing to sleep over although I've paid. Filthy!!!!!!