The Port Elizabeth Apple Express - NG Express Bi-monthly Newsletter - September 2009
The Port Elizabeth
Apple Express

NG Express Newsletter


NG Express

Postnet Suite 124, Private Bag 13130, Humewood, Port Elizabeth

September 2009


The late afternoon sun reflects off the side of NG15 no. 119 as she heads home, winding her way through the suburbs of Port Elizabeth after a day out in the country.

he late afternoon sun reflects off the side of NG15 no. 119 as she heads home, winding her way through the suburbs of Port Elizabeth after a day out in the country.

With a steam locomotive now being a regular sight on the narrow gauge line, local support for the train seems to be increasing. Previously when diesel was the main hauling power for the train, an average of two or three trips per month was the norm. For September and October there are ten trips scheduled. So it seems that steam power still draws the crowds.


All the old, rusted boiler tubes have been removed from NG 15 No. 124. An inspection of the inside walls of the boiler has revealed that the boiler is in pretty good condition with no sign of rust pitting on the inside walls.

Working on Loco No.124’s tender with a heap of her old boiler tubes lying nearby

The orders have gone out to the workshop crew that Locomotive No.124 has to be finished and running for the December holiday rush. Extra staff have been recruited and there is also talk of getting some of the railway workshop staff at the George steam depot to come and help. So if all goes well we could see, for the first time in many years, two working steam locomotives operating out of Port Elizabeth.

No. 124 in the workshop. Note the cut away sections of the fire box that will be repaired with new metal.

Working on the boiler end plate in the firebox of No.124.


The rebuilding of passenger coach No.82 is progressing well. Piet is working hard on this project which has to be shared with the regular maintenance work that also has to be done on the rest of the coaching fleet.

Coach No. 82 taking shape


The problem of a railway line that is seldom used is that vandals find all the metal very appealing for lifting and selling to scrap metal dealers. This can be annoying and inconvenient as was proven recently when the locomotive had to be turned on the seldom used triangle at Chelsea junction. On inspection, the loco crew found that some of the connecting rods at the points were missing.

The missing link

A gang had to be called out to do some quick temporary repairs so that the train could continue on its way.

A temporary solution.


A picture of Loco No.119 resting at Loerie Station before the long slog back to Port Elizabeth. For the sharp eyed, you have probably spotted a couple of cosmetic changes that have been made to the loco as compared to the photograph on page one of this newsletter.

At Loerie Station

Yes that is correct. The headlamp has been “borrowed” from the Garratt No.131 and a large tool box has been fitted next to the firebox on the right hand side of the photo. (Personally I prefer the large single headlamp.)


An exciting DVD record of the May 2009 Geoff Cook tour of the Langkloof has been put together by Mark Ruddy. The film runs for about an hour and has some very exclusive footage taken from the footplate of locomotive no.119.
Mark spent many painstaking hours editing all the video footage that was filmed during the four day tour but the final result was worth the effort.
The DVD is for sale at R85.00 a copy for members (excl. postage) and can be ordered from Gwyneth, telephone number 041-3641687.

Editor: Clive Fife

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