Tuesday, 24 February 2015


Dumisa is on the now de-funked Umizito-Donnybrook line. The photo's by Peter Blackham are of the Goods Shed and Cattle Dock. Although this line is closed a small section is still open on  it's branch line Ixpopo to Madonela. It is now called the 'Paton's Country Narrow Gauge Railway' This little line has the only NGG11 number 55 that is still in steam. One can still ride effectively on a further 12 miles of this rail but on the Welsh Highland Railway which purchased a load of the rail when the line closed and used it in the rebuilding of the WHR.

Monday, 23 February 2015

SAR-NG Link to RMweb



These are two sets of historic research and photo's by P.G.Hindley on RMWeb.There are track plans,loco and rolling stock photos,plus notes.If you click on the links scroll down the page and a world of SAR-NG will open up before you. I would say Hindley's photo set ,notes and track plans are as important research to anyone interested in SAR-NG as the work put together by S Moir in his two books,24 Inches Apart and Namib Narrow-Gauge,by Charlie Lewis in Soul of a Railway and South African Two-Foot Gauge by Hugh Ballantyne.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Class 91's

Here is a YouTube of the 91`'s that get up closes

Saturday, 14 February 2015

NG15 Shunting

Over time will add YouTube clips of the SAR-NG that I can find,this one is by Mark Ruddy of the Avontuur Railway,he is fast becoming a legion as he is one of the last active narrow gauge drivers for steam.


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

What is left of the Lawley's?

Well not many have survived of these iconic little engine with their classic colonial lines. Know to some as the ‘Gentleman’s sporting Engine’
We  know of the two that have been restored on the Sandstone Trust www.sandstone-estate.com .97 Has been restored to its SAR livery ‘Black’ and looks splendid, the second has been restored to represent a Lawley on the Beira Railway in Green. There is a fine YouTube clip with both loco’s double heading. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIAEsvm2sbo
Then we know of one in the Zimbabwe National Railway Museum. A Falcon F4, they have it number as No 27 but Antony Baxter reliably informs us in his book that it is No.19. There is one in a children’s park in Bulawayo.From Anthony's book two loco's where brought to Bulawayo the best bits used for the loco in the Museum an what was left built the loco in the park.

Then there are strong rumors that there are two in the ‘Phyllis Rampton Narrow Gauge Railway Trust’ for the bits I have picked online they are Beira Railway, Lisboa and SSE1912 ,it would good if anyone has further details on these loco’s or has any others to add.

Sunday, 8 February 2015


This will be the last of Maff's photo's

Friday, 6 February 2015

Back to NG6 photo's

I have returned to Maff's  detail photo's of the two NG6's at Sandstone, there are still more to come.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

A book review

The Two Foot Gauge Enigma- Beira Railway 1890-1900
By Antony Baxter
Published by Plateway Press ISBN 1 871980 34 8

Every now and then a true gem comes along, Antony Baxter’s book on this little railway, well in gauge, is well researched, mainly from source documents. The text is complemented with wonderful photographs of the railway from construction to it being re gauged. At the back section are a set of drawing of the various Classes of Falcon locomotives that ran on this line, it includes a drawing of the Drummond loco with Flower tender.
Antony starts with a background for the reason to building the railway from Beira Mozambique to Umtali in Rhodesia. Then the construction and operation through to the locomotives and rolling stock. All through the text are wonderful antidotes of events that surrounded this railway at the time. The epilogue finishes with the re-gauging of the Beira railway from 2’ gauge to 3’6” and then the drawing of the Lawley’s
This book is well worth the money I paid for it a few year back, it is no long on Plateway Press website book list so would presume it is out of print, www.plateway.co.uk, I bought my copy from Andrew Neale at www.railway-books.co.uk
If you have an interest in Southern African two foot gauge this book is a must have and read.

Ps It was from this railway that the SAR-NG6’s where originated, being purchases from Lawley whose ownership they were  in 1916. The 13 locomotives where in a store in Bamboo Creek, after being deliver to the SAR nine where overhauled and deemed fit for service.

The photo on the front cover is of  a Beira Railway large Falcon 4-4-0 No 16 at Umtali in 1898 

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

still more NG6

Maff has taken what I feel some of the best detail photos of these two Lawleys,still more to come .

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

more SAR-NG6

Here are some more great detail photos taken by Maff Wellman

more to follow tomorrow

Monday, 2 February 2015


Over the  next few days I will post a series of photos taken by Maff Wellman of the inside of the NG6 cabs and other close up shots.He took these of  the two Lawleys on Sandstone

more to come over the next few days

Sunday, 1 February 2015

SAR-NG6 Lawleys

The Lawleys that came into the SAR came about because of the Ist World War and the campaign in German South West Africa, as the German force were pushed back motive power was need on the Otavi Railway as the Germans has dismantled or hidden the locos. South African two foot lines were pressed to give up some of their locos to assist the SA Forces, thus putting their own railways under stain. Thirteen of the Falcon Engine and Car Works, Loughborough England, which had run on the Beira Railway and been in storage in Villa Machado   Mozambique and owned by Messrs McLawley (thus the nickname given by the SAR) were bought to help ease the situation of motive power shortage. Nine locos where made serviceable from the thirteen and became the NG6 Class and numbered 96-98 and 101-106, their wheel arrangement was 4-4-0, and the coupled wheels were 2’8” in diameter. The tractive effort at 75% boiler pressure was 3987lbs. These locos ran mainly on the Hopefield and Avontuur Branches but 105 saw service on the Fort Beaufort-Seymour line for many years. All of this class were sold on to private companies’ once finishing service on the SAR which in its self said at lot about these fine little locos.
These little locos even found there way on to a postage stamp.

This model has been built of No.97 by Bruce Green who builds these to order in O Scale ,7mm to the foot,1/43.5