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Zimbabwe Garratts reactivated

Discussion in 'International Heritage Railways/Tramways' started by D6332found, Jul 2, 2019.

  1. D6332found

    D6332found Member

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    Not well known but a 14A and soon a 15A have been reactivated, and are shunting 10am til 3pm in a yard in Zimbabwe. They are training crews...
     
  2. arthur maunsell

    arthur maunsell Well-Known Member

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    very vague.
     
  3. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Bulawayo?
     
  4. Sheff

    Sheff Resident of Nat Pres

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    Well according to the Sunday papers the Zim economy is even more dire than under Mgabe. They’ve just banned the use of the US Dollar and have a new currency of ephemeral value. Long queues for eye wateringly expensive diesel etc. So maybe steam making an enforced comeback?


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  5. garth manor

    garth manor Well-Known Member

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    The occasional steam special runs to Plumtree behind a 14.
     
  6. D6332found

    D6332found Member

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  7. arthur maunsell

    arthur maunsell Well-Known Member

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    good news.
     
  8. Nick Gough

    Nick Gough Well-Known Member

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    There has been some recent, regular steam in Zimbabwe:
    P1180216.jpg P1180221.jpg P1180248.jpg P1180293.jpg P1180305.jpg
    Evening dining trains from Victoria Falls, last November.
     
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  9. sitimela43

    sitimela43 New Member

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    To clarify the inaccuracies here; the two Garratts concerned, 14A no. 519 and 15th class no. 414 have never been de-activated. Along with (until 2017) 16A no. 611, they have been retained in operational condition for use on steam charters and the occasional excursion run by National Railways of Zimbabwe. Following an incident with 414 in May 2019 when the loco 'dropped a plug' while hauling a NRZ Plumtree excursion, the loco was repaired and was used for a short period on local shunts in the Bulawayo area in order to give staff some steam re-training and experience. An excursion operated in August 2019 using 414 to Figtree and return passed by uneventfully. Despite what may be read on the facebook group 'Rhodesia Railways' about eventual return of steam on the Bulawayo to Victoria Falls route it is unlikely to happen due to the absence of adequate servicing facilities, namely watering points. There is of course the excellent Bushtracks Africa operation at Victoria Falls and Livingstone (Zambia) currently using ex-RR 10th and 12th class locos. In the near future this operation will alter to an all Garratt activity using 14A class Garratts.
     
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  10. sitimela43

    sitimela43 New Member

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    414.jpg In preparation for a steam excursion from Bulawayo to Plumtree and return on Wednesday 22nd December, 15th class no. 414 has undertaken a test run today. This follows on from a trial run with 14A class no. 519 on 16th December.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2021
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  11. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    I wonder who does their boiler insurance?
     
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  12. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Sorry, boiler .... what?

    Given the evidently parlous state of the Zimbabwean economy and the ban on dollar transactions referenced a few posts back, I suspect the presence of domestic coal reserves around Wankie may have more than a little to do with the employment of steam. Just of interest, the overhaul/renewal programme, carried out by RESCCO (at Bulawayo), was now around 40 years ago.
     
  13. sitimela43

    sitimela43 New Member

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    15th class no. 414 leaves the water stop at Figtree and continues its journey to Plumtree on the Zimbabwe/Botswana border with the Unity Day special from Bulawayo on 22nd December. Altogether a successful run, despite some delays due to cattle on the line, etc. Hopefully further specials will run in the New Year to ensure the continued retention of a few Garratt locos. Incidentally, while owned by the National Railways of Zimbabwe, loco boilers are regularly inspected by their own Boiler Inspector, and tested (by NDT) by contractors or the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ), the results being submitted to the Chief Inspector of Factories.
     

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  14. sitimela43

    sitimela43 New Member

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    Following a successful run in December a further outing of Zimbabwe's 15th class Garratt no. 414 is planned for Sunday 13th February 2022 as a Valentines Day excursion from Bulawayo to Figtree and return.
     

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  15. sitimela43

    sitimela43 New Member

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    A second 15th class Garratt no. 395 has been returned to steam following a protracted boiler re-tube and repairs to the leading power unit. It is seen on test at Mpopoma yard in Bulawayo, yesterday, 4th February.
     

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  16. sitimela43

    sitimela43 New Member

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    Today's Valentine's Sunday excursion from Bulawayo to Figtree is hauled by 15th class Garratt no. 395, recently returned to service following a protracted period laid up with a broken crank pin on the leading power unit. Seen here prior to departure from Bulawayo Station at 0900 (UTC+2). Hopefully some effort will now go into improving the external appearance now that 395 has been returned to the operational fleet.

    Second image is of 395 looking much more presentable on 17th December 2022 at Bulawayo.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 17, 2022
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  17. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    It could certainly use a lick of paint. I was looking at the chimney and wondering how soon the driver could close the dampers a bit .... or is that just how Hwange* steam coal behaves?


    * Oh well .... no more silly giggling about the old colonial name of Zimbabwe's main coal producing area.
     
  18. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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  19. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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  20. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    Hardly the dry season in Zimbabwe - look how green even the yard is. February is the rainy season there as you can see by the difference in vegetation in these two pictures mini_87-7-14 6 609 Mulungwani Gorge copy.jpg
    mini_91-2-12 3 614 Mulungwani Gorge copy.jpg

    Both are in the Mulungwani Gorge showing Class 16As in action. The first is 609 in July '87 and the second is 614 in Feb. '91

    Peter
     
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