The steam worked narrow gauge (2’00”) railways of South Africa attracted the attention of enthusiasts worldwide, as witness the continued workings by their locomotives within South Africa and in several overseas countries. 116 pages landscape. Coverage is of the S.A.R n.g. line, running from Port Elizabeth , westwards through Assegaaibos and on to Avontuur. Particular attention is also paid to the Gamtoos – Patensie branch line. As well as being scenic, it was also quite busy during the weeks of the orange harvest every year. .
This is real steam, with regular S.A.R. operations on the “main line” lasting into the 1980s, whilst the line to Patensie remained a bastion of steam until the early 1990s. These operations were in the hands of the superb NG15 2-8-2s, usually single headed, but two such locomotives were often run in tandem to haul the heaviest trains during the ‘Patensie orange season’. The beautifully proportioned NG15s, often referred to (somewhat inaccurately) as ‘Kalaharis’, certainly made a change from the Garratt haulage found on South Africa’s other narrow gauge lines. That said, the book includes workings by an NGG16 for good measure..
Make no mistake, the South African 2’00” gauge locomotives are unlike any others in the World. Large and powerful, they are truly impressive. This is real steam action.
Besides the stunning nostalgic photographs, the book abounds with informative, often extended anecdotal captions. It features an informative introduction, a route schematic and summarised technical information. The photographs, of course, are the essence of this book. Taken from the collection of South Africa's most prolific steam photographer, well known for his 23 books to date, including the highly acclaimed best sellers "The Sunset of Steam" and "The Shimmer of Steel". Please note that this book is partially extracted from the very large omnibus work “Steam on SARs narrow gauge lines” (cf.), but includes, exclusively, an extra 40 pages coverage.