Sandstone Estate, South Africa

Phil Rickard

from Railways Africa weekly newsletter:


Condensed from RSSA report by Jean Dulez -

The third "Stars of Sandstone" event, 2-12 April 2015, featured special sunrise demonstration trains every second morning, using the larger locomotives with especially configured freight consists. Wednesday 8 April was set aside for a visit to Lukas Nel's workshop facility at the Transnet diesel depot in Bloemfontein. Saturday 11 April was a public open day, intended mainly for casual visitors (approximately 3,000) to ride the trains and see the other displays. At Sandstone's Hoekfontein farm, trains were operated throughout the mornings from around 09:00. Mid-mornings saw daily convoys organised by the Bloemfontein-based Armour Museum - along the various farm tracks - of military transport vehicles which visitors could ride. The early afternoon, after lunch, usually saw a military display, again by the Armour Museum, of various tanks and armoured cars, some of Russian design. The late afternoon, between 15:30 and 17:30, featured a full-length, double NGG16 Garratt-hauled passenger trip around the entire 25km, 610mm gauge railway. During each day there was a regular procession of vintage diesel tractors, steam traction engines, vintage motor cars and trucks providing regular sideshows in the vicinity of Hoekfontein station. Following this year's highly successful festival, it is planned now to hold Stars of Sandstone every two years - the next from 30 March  to  8 April 2017."

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