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
Oudtshoorn – Montagu Pass 5th August 2002
|Down by the station early in the morning… it was damn cold, and
plenty of steam effects! The cars had again woken with a coating of
ice, and the two live Garrett's were sure pumping steam!
We waited for the departure from the station, which (strangely) coincided with the sun reaching the tracks, but unfortunately the steam effects totally hid the station, locomotives, train and most other things… Around the corner out of town the steam clouds had abated somewhat, but the exhaust trail was lingering in the air all the way from the station!
A superb runpast was held at the bridge near Friesland. Two glinting Garrett's with brilliant steam effects was just perfect. A couple of grabs were had before Kandelaars, and here a quick sprint from the road to the desired position was required. This was shot number three on the WFLORS, and by all accounts was a success, thereby completing the list! The station and line were in sun and the road behind still in shadow, with steam effects still magnificent.
The locos were serviced at Zebra, much to our surprise as we waited on the next curve out of view, wondering why the train never arrived… In any case we decided to move to the R29 bridge a bit further up. A bunch (?) of ostriches were in the field below, and they wandered over to check us out when we stopped. We decided that these would add a nice flavour to the photo so Warwick went down to the fence to entice them closer for our picture. He enticed them with thimbles, enticed them with care; enticed them with forks and hope; he threatened their lives with a railway-share; and charmed them with smiles and soap.
Which was fine, as they crowded into the corner, nicely arranged for our shot. But as soon they heard the approaching Garrett's they fled for the farthest corner of the field!!! Oh well, points for trying…
Further shots were had at Holgate then at the R62 bridge near Camfer (runpast), before the normal service stop at Camfer. For some reason on this stretch the GEA was making no smoke and the GMAM producing lovely white steam effects. Looked rather strange for the photos! While they were servicing at Camfer, we drove further up the pass to the Twin Peaks shot and waited for the train. A great shot there, although it was a little hard to get the two peaks in given the smoky display provided by the Garrett's. A runpast was held here as well.
At that point we bade the train a fond farewell and headed for George. Whilst descending Outeniqua Pass we saw the train coming through the Topping tunnel. A quick lunch stop in George then the drive back to Cape Town for Warwick to catch his flight back to Johannesburg. A most enjoyable few days’ gricing!
All pictures Copyright © 2002 Trevor Staats
Back to Archives Index