04 April 2009

STRAND: Children's Playground, Du Toit Street: AECI #2 Borsig 8370 1912 Fireless Locomotive

There are three Fireless locos plinthed in the Strand / Somerset West areas.

This page refers to AECI #2 0-4-0F Borsig 1912.

Blog pages also exist for AECI #1 0-4-0F Borsig 1909 and AECI #3 0-4-0F Borsig 1924.

All of these fireless steam locomotives were used by AECI Ltd (formerly African Explosives & Chemical Industries) at their former Firgrove explosives factory near Somerset West. The factory had exchange sidings at the end of a 3km SAR branch south east of Firgrove on the SAR Cape Town - Somerset West line. Explosives production ceased during 1989 and by 1991 the only traffic then was chemicals and fertilizers from AECI Ltd and Kynoch Fertilizer Ltd whose works were adjacent to AECI.

This type of locomotive was very desirable for service in plants where cleanliness and the elimination of fire hazards and noise were important. They were quite popular in applications where smoke and cinders could ruin the product, as in textile mills or agricultural processing plants. In those applications where this type of locomotive fits, it was a reliable and economical unit of motive power. Fireless steam locomotives could be found working in chemical industries, powder plants, paper mills, food plants and electric power plants, wherever a reliable source of steam was readily available.

More background to the operation of these locomotives can be found with the entry for AECI #1 0-4-0F Borsig 1909

All of these pictures were taken on 15 October 2008.

AECI #2 0-4-0F Borsig built in 1912, boiler number 42488, Borsig works number 8370.

Plinthed at a playground next to Du Toit Street, Strand.

When I visited the locomotive was being repainted in its "rainbow" livery.

During the work some of the rusted holes in the cab were covered up by using riveted plates - visible as unpainted rectangles in these pictures.

Note the sandbox.

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