The International Steam Pages


Friends of the Rail, South Africa

Mike Haslam (for FOTR) writes August 2004)

FOTR now has its own independent website at http://www.friendsoftherail.co.za. Check it out and see our train programme as well as lots of things happening in 
the club.

We have been very busy in the last few years and despite growing pressures from regulatory bodies, from Spoornet and a distinct lack of Governmental enthusiasm for steam heritage, we are still puffing along merrily. 

We have just brought our Class 24 No. 3664 back into service after four years standing for a full boiler retube. What initially was planned by the boilermaker as a two week job took considerably longer. Now we are back on the tracks with two runs under her belt.

Class 19D No. 2650 has been doing sterling work as the club's front runner. Faultless running since her restoration nearly three years ago.

Class 15F No. 3094 has been temporarily retired for boiler re-certification. Work is currently being done on a few fix-ups before a test hydraulic and re-certification. Meanwhile 15F No. 3117 is well on the way to being put back in service. Soon she will also be having a hydraulic test and re-certification.

Alas, 15CA No. 2850 still stands. A full, and very expensive re-tube is the reason. If anyone wants to make a nice donation................

FOTR is also looking for a new home. We have been given notice to leave the site which we have occupied for many years. Negotiations have been taking 
place, but the difficulty of finding a site with rails and access to the main line is making things into a long drawn out procedure. We are still hopeful and that we shall eventually find a good home.

Meanwhile the club is growing, both with new members joining to help in the restoration work, in the running of the club and additional steam power and 
coaching stock being made ready by these great people. We were badly hit by the cancellation, this year, of three photographic charters, through none of 
our fault. Rather fallout from the disastrous THF episode. 

We hope that it may be possible to run tours again in the near future, but notwithstanding the adversities of local politics, FOTR stands ready and waiting to give enthusiasts the best of SA steam!


Rob Dickinson

Email: webmaster@internationalsteam.co.uk