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Sunday, 11 January 2015

Ex-US Transportation Corps Box Car,NG.OZR-2 and NG.G-4. In 1948 the SAR purchased 220 Box Cars from the US Government to help elevate the shortage of covered vans on the two foot gauge lines in South Africa and South West Africa, as the traffic and demand had increased. These wagons where built by the American Car & Foundry Co for the Vicicongo Railway ,where ever that is ,any information on this line would be interesting. With buying second hand wagon built for an other railways spec. came all the problems related to such. The brake system was Air Brakes and had to be change to Vacuum Brakes, the couplers had to be changed to suit the area where the wagons where going to run with in the Union and South West Africa(SWA) . The Cape had one type ,Natal there own type and the again the Otavi Railway in SWA had there own type. The biggest obstacle to get the wagons run on the SAR’s rails was the wheel profiles and the fact the American wheels where made from a ‘chilled cast Steel’ being incredibly hard and difficult to cut. The problem was over come by heating the wheel up to a glowing red and kept in such a state while in the lathe for cutting ,using oxy-acetylene torches suitably positioned to do such (heath and safety would have a field today). They where then cut to the required profile by the SAR by using carbide tipped tools/cutters. While this was going on it was decide for the 155 of the wagons that where to be used on the Avontuur Branch that they would have their roofs lifted by 12” thus leaving a ventilation gap. These wagons could be used for cattle and goods, when being used for goods a tarpaulin use used to cover the wagon. There are quite a few variants of this modification. The photo’s I have of this wagon are from Peter Blackham’s collection. Peter has been very kind to let me use them. I am in the process of making models of both type of the wagon. Both the altered and unaltered. The wagons attracted the classification numbers for the unaltered ,NG.OZR-2 and the raised roofed became NG.G-4. Peter has already made the ‘dry transfers’ for these wagons and if you look at the link to ‘Blackham Transfers’ you will find them there along with a growing number of other SAR-NG transfers. As I progress with the building of these wagons I will post it on this Blog. There is a drawing of this wagon in Sydney Moir’s book ‘24 Inches Apart ‘, I would say the roof drawing curvature profile is some what to be desired but the drawing provides a good enough drawing for the modeller and can be easily correct.

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