- published: 25 Nov 2017
- views: 1191
Possibly our best charter of our recent visit to Zimbabwe was that of 14th July, when the Class 15A Garratt number 414 had a run out with every bit of spare rolling stock we could beg for!! There were a few times when the powerful Garratt actually seemed to be having to work hard, although I doubt that the loco was really stretched very much, as most of the wagons were empty. Anyway, with the help of some typical African scenery, we captured some really nice sequences. Here's Part One .... Part Two will follow very soon. Enjoy !
The beautiful NZR 14A Garratt number 525 put on a great show for us on a chartered freight train in July 2017. We were up early to see the Garratt off shed before sunrise, so that we could film its departure from Bulawayo station just after sunrise, with the sun reflecting on the loco's polished paintwork. The loco crew then put on a superb show for us with some fast runpasts at various points along its route. More of this charter follows in Part 2.
4-6-4+4-6-4 Garratt 15A-414 works a chartered freight through typical Zimbabwean scenery for the FarRail Tour of July 2017. The Garratt makes a beautiful sight as it winds its way through the African landscape, along routes which rarely see steam these days.
NRZ Garratt 15A-414 (4-6-4+4-6-4, Beyer Peacock (Franco-Belge), 1952) heads the FarRail Tour steam freight charter from Thomson Junction into the wilderness of classic Zimbabwe landscape towards Victoria Falls. At the view from Hotel Baobab of the curve round the hill near Hwange, my mini video camera had difficulty in finding some thing to focus on (01:08). However, I have managed to edit out 99.9% of everybody else's camera noise so you can not only hear the sound of the locomotive clearly, but the bird singing in the tree as well.
The beautiful NZR 14A Garratt number 525 put on a great show for us on a chartered freight train in July 2017. Here we see Part 2 of the excellent show that the loco crew put on for us. The charter ran from Bulawayo to Cement, where the 14A was connected to a rather rusty water tank to be filled for the return run (which we didn't follow). Please try to find Part 1 for the fabulous sunrise sequences. The day finished with a rare use of the turntable - although the 360 degree turn does seem a little pointless !
We borrowed the last genuine working Garratt for a day, from the coal mine at Hwange, so that we could get some line shots of this, the last working Class 16A Garratt in the world. This is an example of the largest of the African Garratts, with its 2-8-2+2-8-2 wheel arrangement. In all probability, this Garratt is now in its last few months of operation, especially with the impending change of management in Zimbabwe (November 2017). A 1966 built GE diesel hauled the Garratt (and us) out to the desired location, where the Garratt performed well for us. I'm certain the Garratt could have got itself to the spot without the diesel .... but I guess it all keeps workers in employment ! You can see from the last scene, the awful conditions we were filming in, with flies actually landing on the le...
Garratt 4-6-4+4-6-4 number 416 heads a chartered mixed freight from Bulawayo to Sawmills in August 2005. Water is taken at Nymandelova. Locals show a remarkably casual attitude to an approaching train on the climb to the bridge here. I apologise for the incorrect start title which says the charter is to Cement - it's actually to Sawmills ! Filmed by Tony Hollins.
"Flying Fifteen" Garratt 4-6-4 + 4-6-4 Class 15A number 414 heads a chartered freight out on the mainline from Thomson Junction. We see the Garratt passing through the one tunnel on the system and going over an elegant steel girder bridge. These 15A's were the fastest of the African Garratts, designed primarily for passenger work. Part 1 can be viewed at - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HYVLXwgPoU
This interesting trip in the cab of a 1966 built Co-Co General Electric Class DE6 loco starts at Thomson Junction. The diesel was hauling passenger coaches plus a Class 15A Garratt with its freight train from there to an assortment of photo spots for steam run pasts. Part way through this sequence, we can see the Garratt from the diesel loco cab. The cab ride ends with the train stopping at the first steam run past location.
Garratt 2-8-2+2-8-2 number 612 heads a lengthy chartered freight from Bulawayo to Cement in August 2005. The Garratt has to work relatively hard but nevertheless maintains a respectable speed over much of the journey. The locals show little regard for lineside safety and it seems that in one village, the local school is turned out to watch both the Garratt and the strange foreigners chasing it ! Filmed by Tony Hollins.
This is Part Two of what was possibly our best charter of our recent visit to Zimbabwe was that of 14th July, when the Class 15A Garratt number 414 had a run out with every bit of spare rolling stock we could beg for!! There were a few times when the powerful Garratt actually seemed to be having to work hard, although I doubt that the loco was really stretched very much, as most of the wagons were empty. Anyway, with the help of some typical African scenery, we captured some really nice sequences.
NRZ 14A-525 (2-6-2+2-6-2, Bayer Peacock, 7606 / 1954) departs Bulawayo Station with it's whistle echoing at sunrise. It then steams through misty cuttings with glint on its side before eventually arriving at Cement. Bulawayo shed has a number of Garratts, which if finance was made available could be made serviceable. But, .... NRZ 14A-525 may actually be 521, with 525's plates, as they mislaid the plates for 521 and swapping the plates was better than painting the numbers on. A Far Rail Tour charter from 10th July 2017. Bernd gets very excited at the end of the video.
Two magnificent Garratts take us from Bulawayo to Cement, Mbalabala to Bulawayo and Bulawayo to Victoria Falls via Thomson Junction and Hwange. This video, captured in May 2015, shows NRZ Garrratts 14A class No. 519 and 15A class No. 414 hauling freight and passenger trains. A tour by www.TANAGO.de and Geoff's Trains and Tours.
In this lengthy (and, I hope, not too boring) sequence, we see two of the wonderful Garretts being coaled, watered and prepared for the upcoming tour by the shed staff at Bulawayo. 4-6-4+4-6-4 15A 414 was in a fairly poor state, with leaking steam and water, and hardly moved a wheel. However, 2-6-2+2-6-2 14A 525 was in a much better condition and, in fact, did most of the work on our tour over the following few days. 14A 525 was, in fact, 14A 519 masquerading as 525. At one point, we can see the number plates being changed !
We see here a brief selection of the ancient diesel locomotives currently in service with National Railways of Zimbabwe. The sequence features two GE U20C class Co-Co's built in 1966, numbers 1601 and 1604, and a Babcock Spanish built GE U11B Bo-Bo from the 1970's. You can see here the appallingly poor state of maintenance of rolling stock, track and station buildings.
Garratt 4-6-4-4-6-4 number 12 hauls a coal train out of Hwange colliery and then Garratt 2-6-2-2-6-2 number 512 shunts passenger stock in preparation for our group's charter train the following day. We have a brief glimpse of our organiser, Bernd Seiler of FarRail Tours attempting to get things moving. August 2005.
Incredible footage shows Zimbabwe as you've never seen it before. Viewers get a different view of Zimbabwe. The landlocked southern African country is known for its awe-inspiring landscape and diverse wildlife, but for those who aren't lucky enough to visit, this is a revealing insight.
“I’m pulling now”, says the man with the trip wire, after much delay. He is finally about to pull the total production of coal for the day - one wagon - onto the weigh bridge. After weighing, it is then fly shunted into a siding to be collected by the last commercially operated steam locomotive in Africa - NRZ 16A-611. However, were are problems… NRZ 16A-611 Garratt 2-8-2+2-8-2, Beyer Peacock, 7516/1953
This is a fascinating sequence of shots taken around the steam shed in Bulawayo in August 2005, as staff prepare for a busy day's work. Garratts of a variety of sizes are prepared and one or two conventional 4-8-2 locomotives of 19D Class are pulled out of the shed for the camera. These were built in the early 50's by Henschel. Filmed in August 2005 by Tony Hollins.
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During my visit to the Victoria Falls Bridge in July 2017, Zimbabwe Railways put on several demonstration runs over the bridge with Class 15A Garratt number 414 and a freight consist. The first sequence is taken from the Zimbabwean side of the bridge and the others from the Zambian side. The Zambezi River can be seen in the valley bottom and the falls behind the bridge in the distance.
Tuesday 3 March 2015, the mixed train from Bulawayo has arrived and is shunted while a red SNCC (Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Congo) locomotive waits for clearance, and a pilot, to cross the Zambezi gorge into Zambia with a freight train. We look over the Beyer-Garratt locomotive and vintage carriages stored nearby before being invited into the cab of the Congolese loco by the South African driver.
During a visit to Zimbabwe in July 2017, our chartered 4-6-4 + 4-6-4 15A Garratt makes a struggled departure from Thomson Junction with a very heavy demonstration mixed freight. Before the Garratt can leave the yard, we have to wait for the early morning timetabled arrival from Bulawayo, with a mix of freight and passengers aboard.