Last North British steam loco in use under threat as Botswanan business collapses



IN early October Botswana’s main copper and nickel mining company Bamangwato Concession Limited (BCL) was put into liquidation, with depressed global prices for metals being blamed.

The last two North British-built steam locos in service anywhere in the world seen in January 2016 at the Selebi-Phikwe copper mine. BCL No. 6 (NB 26070/1948) on the left and BCL No. 7 (NB 26061/1948) on the right.

The Selebi-Phikwe copper mine was closed and more than 4,200 workers and several steam locomotives now have a very uncertain future.

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BCL has operated a variety of steam locos over the last few decades, including second-hand 14A Class ‘Garratts’ and 19D Class 2-8-2s from Zimbabwe (ex-Rhodesia Railways) and was still operating North British-built 19D Class locos and South Africa (ex-South African Railways, SAR) in October 2016.

Read more in January’s issue of The RM

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