Gallery 1029 - Steam trains between Bethlehem and Ficksburg

The secondary line from Bethlehem to Bloemfontein saw a regular passenger train in each direction plus a few freights. On Sundays there was an additional "blacks only" train to take workers to the mines in the Free State. The best weather was always in the winter with photographers always wishing for clear blue skies and an overnight frost. This day was one of these! With the sun rising in the sky the frost soon disappeared and you only had a couple of hours to get your pictures before it warmed up. June 1985 was typical and the full service was in charge of steam locomotives from the 25NC class 4-8-4's built by Henschel (Germany) and North British (UK) in the 1950s. It is also worth noting that the gauge in South Africa was mainly 3 feet 6 inches.

Click thumbnails for larger images.