South African loco back in steam after 59-year gap

Baldwin-built 2ft- (610mm) gauge 4-6-2 Class NG10 loco No. NG61 was the star of the recent Sandstone Estates 2019 Festival in South Africa – 59 years after it was last steamed.

The loco was restored earlier this year and operated as a pair with Beyer, Peacock-built Class NG G11 ‘Garratt’ loco No. 52, re-creating a scene that may only have been possible when both were new in the 1920s.

Pacific No. NG61(Baldwin 42633/1916) leads Class NG G11 2-6-0+0-6-2 ‘Garratt’ (Beyer, Peacock 5976/1919) with a departure from Grootdraai on the Sandstone system on April 7. The Drakensberg mountains of Lesotho are rising on the right of the picture. JOHN MIDDLETON

The ‘Garratt’ locos only worked on the Avontuur system (Port Elizabeth to Avontuur) for the first six years of their lives, apart from one returning as a shunter in 1946.

Most of the NG10 class locos remained there until withdrawal in 1962.

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