musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Tag: Sanrasm

Finding the Reid Tenwheeler

Amongst the many locomotives that stood at Sanrasm South Site was the former 4-10-2T North British Loco side-tank No.23722. She is quite a rare bird as 4-10-2 was not a very popular wheel configuration, many being converted to 4-8-2 over the years they were in service. This particular survivor was fortunate enough to escape the scrap metal thieves as well as the cutting torch. She is a member of the South African Railways Class H 4-10-2T of 1899, and they dated from the pre-Union era in the Colony of Natal. 23722 was in industrial use, and her many sisters served very successfully in the services that they were used in 

I have very few images of her, and these that I do have show her front bogie missing and the loco propped up on a dolley.

Bearing the livery of Witbank Colliery Number 1, she did not seem to be worth preserving, although she is somewhat of a unique loco because of her wheel arrangement.

When Sanrasm was being finally wound up she was not amongst the assets that were scrapped, and when the final disastrous bearing theft happened she managed to survive and was earmarked for plinthing at the Rand Society of Model Engineers (RSME) at Len Rutter Park in Florida (27o 54′ 16″ E, 26o 09′ 38″ S),  and was finally unloaded on 29 June 2014 onto a pre-prepared railbed. Because that happened after I had left for the UK in 2013 I never did get to see her until now.

She stands just outside the small engine museum and has been painted in the livery above, the other side being marked “Witbank”. She is superficially in a good condition, and I suspect that some work was put into her to cover the rusted plating and damaged steelwork.

I was able to climb onto her footplate, and while the gauges and other valuable pieces are missing there were still quite a lot of her original bits and bobs in the cab.

Piet Conradie on his old STEAM LOCOMOTIVES page has the following information on her:

The 137th and final “Reid Tenwheeler” was ordered from North British Locomotive Co in Glasgow and It was delivered as North British No. 23722 of 1928. She was painted blue with white lining and lettered “WITBANK COLLIERY LTD No. 1” on the side tanks. In July 1938 she was reboilered and continued in service hauling coal for another 25 years until last steamed in March 1963.

She remained stored for over 20 years at the South Section loco shed until donated to the Railway Society of South Africa (RSSA) in a ceremony on 1 December 1985. However she remained at Witbank for another nine years until moved to the SANRASM Preservation Site at Randfontein in 1994. She was the only surviving H class in its original condition with the exception of the front bogie that was missing, fortunately it turned up under a heap of “scrap” on site. This was subsequently re-installed on the loco. There is a small chance that she is the only 10 wheeler complete in South Africa.

At this point she is safe, although I would have preferred to see her on the inside of the fence. Long may she be with us, and thanks to RSME who have given this old girl a new lease on life. 

A number of people must be thanked for their work in keeping this loco from scrap, and all credit must go to them. Thanks guys.

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 26/03/2017

Updated: 01/01/2018 — 16:51

They have gone and destroyed it

Regulars to my webpage and blog may remember the SANRASM debacle, and how a collection of valuable railwayana was reduced to so much scrap metal. It was a messy escapade, and the final outcome saw a new team placed in charge and some sort of rationality happening that seemed to signify that parts of the collection would survive. 
 
The last time I visited there was in June 2012, although I really posted that information backdated to the blog in December 2011. Like so many others I hoped that things would now progress from wreckage to preservation and finally to a fully fledged museum. 
 
That never happened.
 
The reality is that somewhere along the line (April 2014?), the scrap vultures entered the premises and cut the frames of some of the locos to get at the bearings, rendering the locos irreparable, and only fit for the scrap. Once that damage has been done the loco will never move again. I saw it happen at Chamdor, and it happened at Sanrasm, and has now finally killed Class 19D-2644, aka “Whardale”. This historically valuable loco was the only one of its kind, and was historically a very significant machine. 

I hope that one day these vultures will become victims of their own greed. When there is nothing left to steal then what will they do? Our steam locomotives, like our Rhino, will be extinct very soon.

What was saved? It is hard to know because I do not have all the information. But I know that both Class 6 loco’s were saved, although Class 6A No.454 has had her frames cut to steal the bearings off it. Fortunately the decision was made to rescue the loco and she is now privately owned and may end up on the rails again one day

6A-454

6A-473

The tender from Wardale was also saved and  I do know that one diesel was also saved. but do not know what happened to the other two.

Various parts from other loco’s were saved to keep the pool of steamers running. I do not know which coaches were saved.  

The former 4-10-2T North British Loco No.23722 was saved and is now plinthed at the Rand Society of Model Engineers site in Len Rutter Park, Florida. (2014)

More images from the disaster that was Sanrasm may be found at my allatsea blog

© DRW 2014-2018. Image recreated 17/04/2016. Updated 12/03/2017, added 10 wheeler 26/03/2017

Updated: 30/12/2017 — 20:45

SANRASM. 1 Year later.

When I first moved out to the West Rand my latent interest in trains became much greater because of the ease with which I could theoretically see them. There were also places to see that had them, and as such I was determined to catch up after so many years in the doldrums.  One of the places I really wanted to see was known as the “South African National Rail and Steam Museum” (aka SANRASM) out near Randfontein.
Sadly, I caught that organisation at the downturn, when it was being run into the ground through neglect by its moribund committee.
What followed was at least 3 years of frustration as the collection became more derelict and nothing was done. Everything came to a head with the death of the Chamdor Locomotive Site , it took a lot to retrieve the collection from the committee and the funds from the scrapping of Chamdor helped save what there is to see today.  It has been a year since work started on rationalising the collection and I have been monitoring work as it has gone forward.
This blog is about “Then and Now”.  I am fortunate that I do have reasonably good access to the site and am glad to see that things are being done, I deplore the loss of many of the artefacts that were originally in the collection, but I do understand “why we are where we are today”.  Kudos to the team that have been steadily working away at the equipment,  its a mammoth task to reverse 10 years of neglect and an exceptionally wet rainy season. However, I am confident that one day I will see this collection become the start of something greater. 

Class 14R-1704 in September 2010

Class 14R 1704 in December 2011

Class 14R 1704 in December 2011

Unfortunately, a lot of restoration is cosmetic in nature. These locos have been stolen dry, they will never be able to run again, but that doesn’t mean that they must look bad. Historically Class 19D-2644 is an important loco, and she languished for years, her smokebox obscured by trees. I saw her in June this year and already she was looking better. 

Class 19D-2644 Wardale (aka Spooky). before painting

Class 19D-2644 after cosmetic restoration commenced,

Sanrasm had a unique collection of coaches, amongst them were a half balcony diner called “Phantom Pass” which was left to rot, and a much “newer” diner called “Shashi” which was also left to rot. Phantom is in a poor condition but they are working towards stabilising her until it can be decided what to do.
 

Phantom Pass. September 2010. No work has been done on her in years

Phantom Pass. Cosmetically restored. June 2012

The years of neglect have taken their toll on her and it will be difficult to restore her to her former glory. Restoration would have been so much easier if only somebody had done something years ago! Shashi suffered from severe water damage and her interior is in a very poor condition. However, compared to what she looked like in May 2009. 

May 2009. She looked much worse by September 2010

Dec 2011, partly stripped of fittings and undergoing restoration.

It will take a lot of time, but eventually she will be restored. Fortunately she even has her kitchen coach on the site and it is hoped to mate them up together again one day. The kitchen coach suffered water damage and neglect like everything else on the site, but now her roof has been replaced and she is already looking better.
 

Kitchen Coach. Roof restored.

Amongst the other work that has been done is cosmetic restoration and repainting of 16DA-844.
 

Class 16DA-844. September 2011

December 2011.

Cosmetic restoration and painting of the Davenport Diesel formerly from North Site.

The Davenport Diesel from North Site. May 2009

The Davenport Diesel from North Site. Dec 2011

Painting of Class 6A-454 as well as Class 6A-473. Not too long ago 454 was still in steam, but she has lost so many fittings over the years that she may never move under her own steam again. 473 has lost her boiler cladding and smokebox front. Nobody could ever explain how that occurred.

Class 6A-454. December 2011.

Class 6A-473. August 2011.

The sad part is, how much was lost. The coaches at North Site that had not been scrapped were all burnt out, and many of the subs from South Site have been donating their wood to preserve what is left behind. I have reams of photographs of what never got this far, and those photographs all point to the person who thought that people would be interested in seeing a lot of rotten and derelict equipment. I am glad to see that the attitude has changed.

May 2009.

The same coach. December 2011.

There is still so much to be done, and with the rainy season upon us there will be even more difficulties, but I live in hope and will return next year to see  how things are looking. Hopefully I will see progress again, just as I have seen since last year.
Keep it up Geoff and his team.
 
Addedum:
Sanrasm exists no longer. The reality is that somewhere along the line (April 2014?), the scrap vultures entered the premises and cut the frames of some of the locos to get at the bearings, rendering the locos irreparable, and only fit for the scrap. Please refer to my post from 10/06/2014
 
DRW. © 2011-2019. Images recreated 20/03/2016
Updated: 08/04/2019 — 18:56

SIA Evaluation: Sanrasm North Site

On 10 September 2010 I was unofficially included in the team that went to Sanrasm to evaluate the collection and make recommendations. These are the images taken at North Site. The biggest obstacle that was faced was that North Site was no longer connected to South Site or to the line to Magaliesburg that divided the two sites. Moving anything would involve a crane, and there weren’t really funds to do this. Some very difficult decisions had to be made though, and I am glad that logic finally overcame pig headedness. In my opinion North Site had the real gems, but the conditions of the equipment realistically made them only fit for scrap. The coaches were rotten, the locos rusted away, and the chopped up Garrett collection still angered everybody.

These are probably amongst the last images taken of these two sites before they started being rationalised.

Class 1 No.1277

Fireless locos

The “shed”

Henschel tank loco

Derelict steam rollers

Class 13, ex H2 Tank

O&K 0-4-0 Well-Tank

Torpedo tender

Steam roller

1/2/3 class balcony 6086

Engineers caboose

Scrap line

Engineers caboose

2nd Class E-16 8868

0-10-0 Henschel Diesel 18489

Hopper wagon

Breakdown crane

4 Wheeler

abandoned water tank

S class tender

Fireless loco

Drakensburg SB Van

Underground loco

Bag van

Avonside 0-4-0 side-tank 1624

Class S -367

DRW ©  2009-2019. Retrospectively created 12/06/2017

Updated: 09/04/2019 — 05:54

SIA Evaluation: Sanrasm South Site

On 10 September 2010 I was unofficially included in the team that went to Sanrasm to evaluate the collection and make recommendations. I will not go into the backdoor politics that had to happen to even get to this point, and neither will I name any names. The biggest obstacle that was faced was that North Site was no longer connected to South Site or to the line to Magaliesburg that divided the two sites. Moving anything would involve a crane, and there weren’t really funds to do this. Some very difficult decisions had to be made though, and I am glad that logic finally overcame pig headedness.

These are probably amongst the last images taken of these two sites before they started being rationalised.

NGG 13 Garratt No.58.

Berliner side-tank 8786

NBL Side tank

161 Phantom Pass

Class 14R-1909

Aveling & Porter steam roller.

Fowler or Foden steam roller

Slam door sub

GDA Garratt No.2259

siasouth11

L-14 Driving trailer

GF Garratt No.2404

4-10-2 NBL side-tank 23722

Class 1 No.1252

Shashi interior

Class 1 No.1253

GF Garratt No.2404

Slam door sub

Class 14R-1909

NBL Side tank

Class 19D-2644 Wardale

NBL Side tank “Jenny”

Hunslet Tank No.790

Kitson Tank No.2269

Class 6 No.473

Class 1 No.1252

Slam door sub

Class 14R No.1705

Class 14R “Joyce”

Class 3BR No.1483

Class 16CR No.816

Class 6A No.454

Class G side-tank 206

Class G side-tank 206

Class 15CB

GMAM No.4125

2-10-2 industrial Tank 61553

Class 15CB

GMAM No.4125

DRW ©  2009-2019. Retrospectively created 12/06/2019

Updated: 09/04/2019 — 05:53

Inside Sanrasm North Site

North Site was fascinating. There were a lot of really interesting bits and pieces there, as well as a large collection of unanswered questions. Most of the very old coaches were very dangerous, woodwork was rotten, steelwork corroded, and not to mention the ever present danger of huge thorn bushes, bees and possibly snakes. There were also 3 baggage vans that were locked and we never did find out what was inside of them. Knowing Sanrasm it was either historic, or just junk. The workshops were fascinating too, but they had been left to rot away, and the closed loco shed housed two historically important locos. Most of the material here had been donated or bought for a song, but once acquired, it had been left to rot. We know who to blame, but realistically blame can also be apportioned to the members of the group who never questioned what was going on. Most volunteers had long left, and this place was going nowhere really fast. Once again this page is graphic intensive, so it may be slow.

Re-used Balcony coach

2nd Class E-16 Coach 8868

Engineers caboose

Derelict balcony 1/2/3class 6086

Derelict steam rollers

0-4-0 Ruston Diesel Shunter

2-4-0 Tank ‘La Moye’

abandoned water tank

Garratt graveyard

Garratt graveyard

Garratt graveyard

Grafton Steam crane

Class S -367

0-10-0 Henschel Diesel 18489

Fireless loco

Drakensburg SB van 2295

Fireless locos and scrap

NGG 11 Garratt No.53

DZ wagons

Torpedo tender

O&K 0-4-0 Well-Tank

Underground loco

Engineers caboose

Private saloon

Davenport diesel shunter

Class 13 1336

Derelict balcony 1/2/3class 6086

4-8-2 Avonside side-tank

Derelict crane

Hawthorn Diesel Shunter.3867

Derelict foot bridge

Crane boom

Wheels

Machinery

Wheel drop pit

Derelict compartment

Bag van

Engineers caboose stove

fireless loco

Class S -367

Abandoned boiler

Class 1 No.1277

© DRW 2009-2018. Retrospectively created 12/06/2019

Updated: 24/12/2017 — 10:05

Inside Sanrasm South Site

I was lucky to be able to get inside Sanrasm when one of my friends managed to get himself a job cleaning up the place. That entailed cutting grass, trimming trees and vegetation, clearing up years of accumulated rubbish. It also meant navigating egos and placating the resident empire builder. Through him I was able to access the rolling stock and other heritage items inside both sides of the track, and what I saw was shocking, but also fascinating.

Historically there were many important locos and coaches, and some were the only representatives of their class. Most had been vandalised beyond repair, and some were rotten when they got there, but a lot had happened during the tenure of the that one person. A lot of the rot was easy to sort out, it just required a bit of work. Work that was seemingly beyond them. But, enough said, lets get on with the show. These page are very graphic intensive so may take awhile to load. Datewise my files date from 01/05/2009 through to 02/08/2009 when he gave up. 

Class 16DA No.844

Berliner side-tank 8786

Class 14R ‘Joyce

Slam door sub

Slam door sub

Slam door sub

GDA Garratt No.2259

L-14 Driving trailer

GM Garratt No.2301

Class 1 No.1253

Class 1 No.1252

Aveling & Porter steam roller

Former JHB Tram

Class 12A Industrial

Class 6A-473

Kitchen Car 282

Class 6A-473

GMAM Garratt No.4089

Coupe

Slam door sub

2nd Class coach 2123

4-10-2 NBL.23722

NGG 13 Garratt No.58.

Class 14R-1909

4-8-2 NBL.25916 “Jenny”

Wardale 19D – 2644

Engineers Caboose

GMAM Garratt No.4089

Class 14R No.1705

NBL side-tank

Class 15F No.3051

Class 15F No.3051

Drivers seat

2nd Class Coach 2123

Kitson Tank No.2269 “Kitty”

Hunslet Tank No.790

161 Phantom Pass

Shashi 229

Shashi 229

Shashi 229

Slam door sub interior

Class 6A No.454

Class 6A No.454

© DRW 2009-2018. Retrospectively created 12/06/2016

Updated: 24/12/2017 — 10:05

Finding Sanrasm North Site

My exif data for the first images of North Site are dated 10/04/2009, and I had not even been aware of North Site when I had first visited Sanrasm South Site in February, and only picked up on it existing by accident. I added it to my list and grabbed my camera and headed out there. Like South Site. it too was locked, overgrown and derelict, with an extensive pile of derelict locos and scrap outside the gates. It was very difficult to comprehend what I was seeing, it just got worse all the time. 

1
sanrasmnorth21

© DRW 2009-2018. Retrospectively created 12/06/2017

Updated: 24/12/2017 — 10:05

Finding Sanrasm South Site

My story begins when I moved out to the West Rand and decided to find the much vaunted “South African National Steam and Railway Museum” (aka SANRASM) that was supposedly somewhere near Randfontein. Nobody could really give me any real directions on how to get there so it was a case of hunting for clues. To cut a long story short, by trial and error I finally managed to find the site on a stretch of gravel road somewhere between nowhere and elsewhere. Actually what I found was a fenced compound with high grass and what looked like a lot of wreckage. The compound was locked and a security guard ambled out of his hut to see what I was doing.  After some persuasion the friendly security guard gave me the number for the office. The excuse I was given by the office was that “the grass was long and they could not let me in”. It was obvious that one of the reasons for the long grass was that somebody wasn’t doing their job! and there was a lot to hide! I was potentially a willing volunteer, but they were not really interested in me, instead I was fobbed off and told to go have a look at the Chamdor locomotive collection instead. and that was that.
I left feeling despondent, there was so much to see behind that fence, but unless I got very lucky there was no way I was going to see what there was! I did however take pics through the fence, and vowed that this was not the end. I would get in there eventually.  The images are dated 02/02/2009 according to the exif data, so I am going to use that as the start date of the sanrasm saga. I had no idea at the time what I was seeing and it took a lot of time to gather the collection of images that I have. They are unique images because they show the demise of a collection that was allowed to rot while the members were blissfully unaware of what was happening on the ground.

These images were taken over and through the fence.

I then discovered the “scrap line” while on a trip to Magaliesburg with Reefsteamers. This was a terrible place, and I had to fight my way through bushes and trees to get there (there was a much easier way, but I did not know it at the time). Now that I think about it, this was a really stupid thing I did. The area was still a mining area and there was a huge quarry on one side and the terrain was really dangerous and I was lucky to come out of this was a bad case of blackjacks and a scrapes and scratches. I was also able to catch a glimpse into the site itself from the other side, and it was as bad here as I had seen from the gate. Worse was to come though, when I discovered North Site.

To say that I was shocked would be an exaggeration, I was mortified because this was no museum, it was a travesty, and I was hell bent on stirring the fire to see what popped up. I posted my images on a local heritage rail board and then thing started to happen.

© DRW 2009-2018. Retrospectively created 12/06/2019

Updated: 24/12/2017 — 10:13
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