24th September 1999
Pictures copyright © 1999-2007 - Trevor Staats
|Friday 24 September
Rose early again to see the morning goods. It was running around 1 hour later than the normal time. The "goods" consist turned out to be empty passenger stock for the expanded 09h45 Choo Tjoe ex-Knysna, with no goods wagons at all. Locos were 19D 2683 + 19D 3324 on three suburban coaches, not really a load to justify the double-header. Nonetheless, with careful composition some good shots were possible. The weather was quite murky early, but the sun appeared to light up the Swartvlei bridge just as the train was crossing, giving some nice lighting effects. No sun anywhere else in the area, or for the remainder of the chase of that train - the elements in my favour for once! Other shots were at Duiwerivier, Rondevlei and near Keytersnek.
Took the family to the beach at Wilderness, which coincidentally (!) has a great view of the line as it rounded the point from Kaaimans. 2749 and 4122 soon appeared around the bend from Victoria Bay with the Union Limited, making a fine sight of steam, sun, surf and sand. A little later 3324 and 2683 steamed in from the opposite direction on the Choo Tjoe with 8 coaches trailing behind, the trains having crossed at Wilderness. The DC-4 also flew past a few times.
A quick drive to Sedgefield followed for some of the delicious pies from the station cafe, then back to George. The UL was crossing the Swartvlei as we passed. GB 2166 was coupled on to 2 coaches as we arrived at George, and the enthusiasts boarded the train for a trip to Power. We had a number of runpasts, the first just out of George on the golf course (?). The second was most interesting, being around Tunnel 1. The deep cuttings were adorned with enthusiasts clinging to their sheer sides as the little Garratt stormed past. Another group of people were on the other side of Tunnel 1 to film the train emerging. A little difficult to shoot perhaps, but certainly a great atmospheric location. Another runpast just before Power, then two false starts from Power on the return, after the loco had watered from the column there. A quick run back to George and the great trip was over, the GB having performed brilliantly.
A visit to the Outeniqua Railway Museum followed, and the S2, ZASM, 7A, 7BS and Emil Kessler were in steam and on display outside. Inside, a great display of flower arrangements for the flower competition, in addition to the normal railway-related displays. The vintage car and tractor exhibition was also great, with a wide variety of machines on display. All the exhibits, railway or otherwise were presented really well, and were clean and well labelled/explained. The model railway club's layout is taking shape, but a few more hours are still needed on top of the substantial time already spent on the models and scenery. The highlight for me was the HO scale model of the Kaaimans bridge, fantastic!
All pictures captured from video shot using a Sony TRV-7E digital video camera and Copyright © Trevor Staats 1999
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