21 November 2007


continues from part 3

#4070 class GMA/M
A modern successor to the GM class, no less than 150 of these Garratts were delivered 1954-56. The orders were split between Beyer, Peacock, the North British Locomotive Co and Henschel. The extra M indicated when the loco was intended for main-line use - the main-line engine would only differ in having a larger coal and water capacity.

#4070 class GMA/M

Like the GM's these locomotives trailed an auxillary water tank. These ubiquitous engines saw service on most secondary lines in the country. They were the last class of Garratt in service with the SAR and were being withdrawn from regular service in 1984.

The Class GMA/M is also depicted on a 25 June 2010 stamp release by the South African Post Office. (SAPO). This image is published here by kind permission of SAPO.

The "Swartkops" 0-4-0ST locomotive with the "ESC" (Electricity Supply Commission) badge. This 3' 6" gauge loco was used by the Port Elizabeth Municipality at the Swartkops Power Station near Port Elizabeth. This locomotive was built in 1951 as works number 7685 by RSHN (Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns Ltd located in Newcastle-on-Tyne)

Another view of the "Swartkops" engine. This engine was formerly preserved at the 3'6" siding at the SAR Narrow Gauge Museum at the Humewood Road Locomotive Shed, before she was moved here into the OTM.

Related RSHN engines are George and Elizabeth plinthed in Johannesburg.

The 0-6-4T SAR Class B no 41: It was named "ROOS" (locomotive #61) and was the 1st of the 46-Tonners designed for the NZASM and built Esslingen as works no 2855 in 1897.

This loco with the surname "ROOS" was one of 175 locomotives build in Germany during the years 1892-98 by the Emil Kessler factory for the NZASM (Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaanse Spoorwegmaatskapij). Very few of these locos survived the Anglo-Boer war, after which they later became SAR Class B.

Note the bell assembly fitted behind the name "ROOS"

Sideways view of the "Roos" ZASM 46-tonner

The following information extract about the ROOS was compiled by the late Richard Searle, and published in an article titled "THE STORY OF 'ROOS'" in the NZASM - Memorial Issue (April 1987 edition) of Pretoriana as digitised by the University of Pretoria's Library Service and downloadable here.

The History of the locomotive named ROOS

1. The NZASM - Original owner of 'Roos' - 1893 to 1900

The 1st loco in it's class, Number 61 in the 46-tonner class of the NZASM, named 'Roos', was built by Emil Kessler of Esslingen, Germany, in 1893. She was assembled in East London and was worked over the CGR lines to the Transvaal. The date of her being placed in service is uncertain, but it seems likely that she was used on the Pretoria - Johannesburg line during 1894.

There is a possibility that she was allocated to the Pretoria - Delagoa Bay line from January 1, 1895, as the 46-tonner class locomotives had been ordered for this line. She was probably worked there until the Anglo-Boer War broke out in 1899.

2. Taken over by the IMR and the CSAR - 1900 to 1910

The NZASM continued to operate during the Anglo-Boer War, until its properties were put under the control of the IMR. 'Roos' is likely to have remained undamaged during hostilities. Although the CSAR assumed control of the Transvaal railways after the war, the NZASM continued in existence until 1908, and 'Roos' was taken into the books of the CSAR for the first time in that year.

The CSAR operated from 1902 to 1910, and placed a number of new locomotives in service during this period, and 'Roos'" is likely to have continued working on the Pretoria - Delagoa Bay line. After the railway line between Waterval Onder and Waterval Boven had been reconstructed and the rack railway demolished in 1908, "Roos was probably brought to the Witwatersrand and used to haul suburban passenger trains.

3. Sold to Simmer Deep Mine - 1911 to 1919

With the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910, the CSAR, together with the Natal Government Railways (NGR), and the CGR were combined into the SAR, but for practical reasons, the CSAR continued to operate until 1914. Roos was not included in the 44 locomotives which came on to the books of the SAR, as the CSAR had sold her to the Simmer Deep Mine in 1911. Simmer Deep, and the adjacent Jupiter Gold Mine, shared the services of 'Roos', where she worked on the lines to these two mines between Jupiter and Driehoek until 1919.

4. Bought by the Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Company (VFP) - 1919 to 1963

'Roos' was bought by the VFP in 1919 and thoroughly overhauled at the Rosherville workshops of the company. Another ZASM locomotive No. 197, named 'Kracht', and 'Roos' were allocated to the Brakpan Power Station in 1920 to replace the Kitson locomotive 'Kitty' and a Hunslet locomotive, that had been transferred to the Rosherville Power Station. 'Kracht' and 'Roos' hauled coal trains from Modrea Station, over a distance of 4 km, to the Brakpan Power Station. Escom took over the VFP in 1948, and 'Roos' was again transferred to the books of the new owner.

When a portion of the Clydesdale Colliery collapsed in 1960, and 435 mineworkers lost their lives, it became necessary to bring coal in by rail, and 'Roos' was on temporary transfer to the Taaibos Power Station, where she hauled trains from Coalbrook Station to Taaibos, and Highveld Power Stations, until the coal mine was re-opened in 1961. Brakpan Power Station closed down in 1963, and 'Roos' returned to the Rosherville Power Station.

5. To Geduld Mine and South African Pulp and Paper Industries (SAPPI) - 1964 to 1971

When Escom withdrew the older power stations from service, a number of locomotives were put up for sale. 'Roos' was sold to Geduld Mine - a goldmine, in 1964, were she was used for hauling ore trains from the various shafts to the central reduction works. The main activities of the mine centred on cleaning-up operations at this stage, and when it finally closed down in 1967, 'Roos' was sold to SAPPI, the largest paper manufacturer in South Africa.

Seventy-two years after she had been placed in service on the Pretoria - Delagoa Bay railway line, 'Roos' again steamed across a portion of her old working territory to the Ngodwana pulp factory of SAPPI, that was to be her new home. Ngodwana is situated close to Waterval Onder - adjacent to the Pretoria - Delagoa Bay railway line.

Unknown photographer - possibly Ian Pretorius - this photo was posted to Atlantic Rail's fb gallery.

August 17, 1970 witnessed a very special event on the railway line, which had been of such importance, to president Kruger and the Transvalers, in their long struggle for independence. The 75th anniversary of the Delagoa Bay railway line took place that day, and 'Roos' was used to haul a special train from Waterval Onder to Waterval Boven. She was temporarily renamed 'President Kruger' for this commemorative trip. Mr. Ben Schoeman, who was Minister of Railways and Harbours at the time, and who had initially joined the SAR as a fireman, acted as driver over the last part of the journey up to Waterval Boven.

6. Acquired by the SAR

The SAR acquired 'Roos' for the first time in 1971. Although kept on the books of the CSAR, the locomotive had technically belonged to the SAR, for one year, before she started on her long journey from one owner to another. Six months after the commemorative trip on the Delagoa Bay line, the SAR presented SAPPI with a class 10C no. 772 locomotive, and received 'Roos' in exchange. The veteran locomotive has now ended her wandering and is kept at the Germiston locomotive depot in trust for the SAR museum. 'Roos' is the only ZASM locomotive still (in 1987) under steam, and was used from time to time for special journeys or scenes in television and movie films.

Technical details of the locomotive 'Roos'

Manufacturer Name Emil Kessler Works number 2598 year 1893

Boiler Boiler diameter 1169 mm
Boiler centre line above rail level 1765 mm
Blast pipe type Vortex according to the design of Adams (i)
Fire grate type Bar
Fire grate area 1,4m2
Drop grate operation Wheel crank with screw winding
Heating surface area: Fire tubes - 144 of 45 mm diameter 78,5 m2
Firebox 8,5 m2
Total 87,0 m2
Tube plates - distance between 4300 mm
Safety valve type According to the design of Ramsbottom
Regular type Double slide
Working pressure 1125 kPa

Cylinder bore 430mm
Piston stroke 630mm
Valve gear Walschaert
Valve Balanced slide valve according to the design of Richardson with a cross
point according to the design of Trick
Driving wheel diameter 1310 mm
Bogie wheel diameter 810mm
Wheelbase 5994mm
Crosshead type Alligator
Frame type Outside plate

Water tank 6750 1.
Coal bunker 4t

Mass (in working order) 46t
Length between couplers 9590 mm
Wheel arrangement 0-6-4
Tractive effort (at 75% of operating pressure) 73kN
Lubrication Oil

SAR class 16B "Pacific" (4-6-2) No 805 - one of 10 put into service in 1917 after being built by North British Locomotive Co. She was later re-boilered and became a 16BR but, following withdrawal in June, 1972, she was re-fitted with an original style Belpaire firebox and became a Class 16B again. The cosmetic changes to return it to its original appearance involved fabricating a dummy 16B boiler - the original Hendrie cab, which Les Pivnic (then the SAR Museum curator) found in the old Pretoria Mechanical Workshops. She was put on display at Johannesburg Station forecourt.

A former South African minister of Transport (1954-74) - Ben Schoeman - worked as a fireman on this engine from 1931-33 at the Braamfontein Loco shed.

Garratt #2351 (named "Princess Alice") class GL

The 8 engines in this class, delivered in 1929 and 1930 by Beyer Peacock, were the most powerful steam locos to operate on the SAR. They were designed for working goods trains on the Natal main line. High axle load limited their service to main lines laid with heavy tracks. Electrification led to their eventual withdrawal in 1972.

Garratt #2351 (named "Princess Alice") class GL

Considerable problems were experienced with fumes filling the cab when passing through tunnels. A blower driven by a steam turbine to suck clean air from ahead of the chimney was tried out, but eventually the locomotives had to be run with the chimney trailing when ascending a gradient in a tunnel.


SUMMARY of items on display in OTM

December 2005

In December 2005 Dylan Knott posted this summary to the sar-l forum of what was to be seen at the OTM and George station:

I did a quick stock-take of the OTM as well.

  • GO 2575, GEA 4023 and GF 2401 are maintained in a fairly clean state. A steam crane, hand operated crane, a few saloons and several other coaches are all stored or displayed within the compound.
  • 0-4-0 tank "Stormberg" is now plinthed in the museum's foyer.
  • 7A 1009 - Plinthed at entrance.
  • S2 3706 - Plinthed and being cleaned up. Loco is still minus its numberplates.
  • H2 330 - Plinthed.
  • "Swartkops" still parked near the admin coaches.
  • Former kiddies playground loco plinthed in foyer as well.
  • GMAM 4070 - clean and on display.
  • GL 2351- clean and on display.
  • 24 3668 - Operational and on display.
  • 6J 645 - very clean and on display.
  • 7A 1007 - clean and on display.
  • 16B 805 - clean and on display.
  • Emil Kessler - plinthed.
  • NG15 122 - plinthed.
  • ZASM Roos - display.
  • GB 2166 - display.
  • 7BS 1056 - dirty and on display.
  • Coaches: 18, 6006, 5267, 5, 134, 168, 210, 51, 49, 795, 5921, 14, 4274, 40055, 28282, 196, 40084, 199 and 40081. A few other were outside.
  • Coin operated models: 807, 810 and 790.
  • Palmer model 16E 854.
  • Another model with no ID but looked like a 19D.
  • Model 841 "Milly".
  • Model 3E E191.
  • Old ambulance.
  • Brill Bus, Trucks, 3 x Fire trucks and another under restoration.
  • 1 x semaphore post.
  • 1 x dwarf semaphore signal,
  • 1 x semaphore signal & post.
  • 1 x colour light signal.
  • 1 x tablet machine. Plumstead,Krugersdorp, Salt River and Mowbray panels.
  • Van Schoor machines ex-Hartenbos and Groot Brakrivier.
  • 1 x miniature lever frame 4 levers. 1 x 20 Lever frame, 4 x single lever frames. Appleer 4 lever frame. Replica Plumstead cabin. Plumstead original 30 lever frame.
  • 2 x pump trolleys.
  • 3 x Funkey trolleys.
  • 3 x Powervan trolleys.
  • 1 x private trolley.
  • 3 x containers in a fenced off area full of other items that could be placed on display in the future. Among these was an old Otis Elevator, Van Schoor machine and books.
Good points:
  • The normal display has been changed and the general feeling is that the OTM is becoming more and more popular. At long last the GL and GMAM are part of the display.
  • Security is visible.
  • New shop open and selling items such as DVD's, Videos and photos.
  • New display area for the signals and trolleys.
Low points:
  • Lack of info regarding items on display.
  • No entry signs on the locos and some of the coaches is not good. Part of the idea of a museum of this nature is for people to be able to climb into the cab's of the locos etc.
  • Certain locos are still dirty.
  • The ticket office closes when last train departs.
  • Numberplates are no longer sold to the public.
  • Library coach closed.
  • The 16 lever frame is still intact in the cabin at the station. All wires long since disconnected from the frame, but still connected in the yard in places. The semaphore posts are still in position. Its a shame that the home signal leading off the Knysna branch could not be reconnected, even if only for display purposes.The shed was fairly empty except for 19D 2698 and the 2 class 32 diesels.
  • Station pilot 35-018 was shunting the yard.
  • Various water tankers were in the yard including a red and white one labelled as "Fire Unit". Must be new.
  • A freight service still operates to and from Knysna and normally consists of 2 waste-by-rail trucks.


A somewhat unusual display in the George OTM museum, is this working scale model of a SHAY geared locomotive.  This particular engine has a two cylinder design. American Shay logging locomotives were designed to climb the steepest grades, swing around hairpin curves and negotiate frail temporary tracks. In addition, they had to haul incredibly heavy loads, from woods to mill. Power was all-important. 

2011 image (The SHAY 1 has since been relocated elsewhere in the museum)

Peter Greeff noted in the sar-L forum: "The Shay was built for the late Jan Hugo, a farmer near Loxton. He donated it to the Lions club who had a track at the end of York Street (George). Trains ran during weekends."

"However, service was a problem and eventually THF had it serviced at Voorbaai. New track was laid at the museum and two qualified drivers operated the train. Ticket money was a problem at one stage. With time, the little railway was abandoned."

"Time period late 1980's till early 2000's."

Last boiler test. 2013 Image (c) André Kritzinger

This about 2003 picture (posted in sar-L forum) by Bob shows the SHAY 1 in action in the grounds of the OTM in George. Bob noted: "When I arrived in George in 2003 it was being used on an oval track adjacent to the Railway Museum for childrens rides. It ceased operating around about 2005 and was moved into the museum."

2013 Image (c) André Kritzinger

2013 Image (c) André Kritzinger



  1. Dear Piet,

    I am sitting here in Linz / Austria and have to admitt you have done an excellent job. Its the only accurate information I could find sofar.

    Greetings from Europe


  3. I am from southern Russia and will be visiting George to see a 19D steam loco. Could you perhaps inform me if you have such an engine on display.
    Thank you.

    1. Yes There should be a 19D and a 19C in the museum.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.