- published: 08 Aug 2017
- views: 615
"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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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The Hwange Colliery in Zimbabwe offers one of the very last regular steam operations in the world in 2017. Up until recently the coal mine had two Garratts operating but, on my recent visit in July this year, they appear to be down to the last steamable example. The colliery has numerous other Garratts (and other types) scattered around the depot, but none are in a working condition. Number 611 is a Class 16, 2-8-2 + 2-8-2 .... a truly magnificent machine .... way overpowered for the shunting and short trip working asked of it. The Garratt is seen shunting around the coal loading area. This, together with the hauling of loaded wagons the short distance to Thomson Junction, is the entirety of 611's work. Quite how long it will be before the diesels at TJ are allowed up to the colliery is no...
This is a very brief video documentary of my recent visit to Sizanani, a women's local food growing project based at Bambanan, a village about two hours from Bulawayo in Western Zimbabwe. The trip was part of my part-time PhD research at Cardiff University (CPLAN) investigating how local food social enterprises can help address entrenched problems of poverty amongst smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
This is the Bulawayo-Vic Falls overnight train arriving at its destination of Victoria Falls, Zimbabawe.
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.
This clip is from a 60 minute video by Ton Pruissen showing Beyer-Garratt locomotives at work, and being repaired in Zimbabwe in 1987 and 1991, by which time they were the last really big steam locomotives still in commercial service worldwide. The full DVD may be purchased from Camden Miniature Steam Services - see: http://www.camdenmin.co.uk/collections/archive-films-from-ton-pruissen
Here we have a perfect example of a basic problem with the Garratt design .... adhesion. If one half slips, the other has no traction. In this sequence, first one half slips, then the other half slips. Despite the locomotive's more than adequate available power, it struggles to get the relatively light load moving. As with many ageing locomotives around the world, the sanding gear is poorly maintained. Filmed in Bulawayo in August 2005 by Tony Hollins.