Note that all photographs on these pages are Copyright © Trevor Staats 2002 and may only be used for personal viewing. They may not be used for any other purpose without my express permission.
Union Limited Hantam II Photos and Report
Malmesbury - Cape Town 11th August 2002
|Not so far a drive this morning, just as far as Malmesbury, and
another fine day it was shaping up to be. At the station, 26 3450
and 15F 3153 were in the final stages of preparation for the 8:00
departure. The sun was providing magnificent glints of the locos as
they stood there, and I stood in the cab on 3450 with my son Lachy
as we soaked up the steamy atmosphere. The other two lads were a bit
apprehensive about climbing up into the loco!
Departure was almost on time, by which time my good wife Christine had deposited me by the track on the climb just out of Malmesbury (Water Tank Field). The train was a little (?) over powered with those two big locos, but what a sight and sound they made thundering around the curve and up the grade! Our two-year-old Aedan summed it up by saying “Wow… Train…” as we set off in pursuit. A nice runpast at Abbotsdale and a couple more grabs before Kalbaskraal – the roller-coaster surface of the tar road there making chasing quite difficult.
We set off for Wintervogel and got a good shot in the fields there. The recent rains had made the service roads somewhat, er, interesting and it was touch and go as to whether we would get another shot or spend the remainder of the day digging the car out of the mud. But the fierce cheering of the kids in the back seats (Yeehah! Go Mummy! Yay!!!) made the difference and we slid through safely. Another runpast was held near Wintervogel, which was very pleasant. Another interesting section of road provided further entertainment for the kids (mental note to self – remember to close window before ploughing through next mud hole to avoid giving baby an involuntary facial mud-pack).
The train had already arrived at Klipheuwel when we got there, so we waited at Fisantkraal station. Photographically it wasn’t much, but nice to watch the train thundering through. The goods shed (now the “Tabernakel van God”) was in full swing, the service interrupted briefly by the train’s noisy passing. And that was that for the day – time to go home and give the baby a bath!
The passengers would have arrived back in Cape Town in good time, a little later we saw the two locos simmering outside Cape Town station as we were on our way to the Waterfront for pancakes (yum!). Well done to the THF for a fantastic tour. Brilliant weather, snow shots, wildflowers, possibly the last steam on the PE narrow gauge… Quite a notable trip.
Back to Archives Index