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Chasing "SMOKEY"

June 17, 2022 09:41PM
In 1979 my brother and I were chasing narrow (3 ft 6 in) gauge steam in the Orange Free State, South Africa. One of our favorite encounters was with "SMOKEY" hauling the day-time passenger train on the 190-mile run from Bloemfontein to Bethlehem.

Here SMOKEY has stopped at a rural station, a number of passengers have gotten off the train, and the 4-8-4 is working hard to get the 14-car train underway again on the grade

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Named SMOKEY by her assigned crew, the engine is classified by South African Railways as class 25NC 4-8-4 number 3415, built by Henschel in Germany in 1953, one of 50 engines built by both North British and Henschel. With 60 inch drivers and 225 psi boiler pressure the 25NCs could put on a good turn of speed, but had a reputation for being somewhat slippery on mountain grades. But we did not note any traction problems with SMOKEY and her heavy train on the long climb to the summit at Retiefsnek near Bethlehem

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(to be continued)
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Olaf Rasmussen June 17, 2022 09:41PM

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Tomstp June 18, 2022 09:25AM

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anthonydamato June 18, 2022 02:02PM

Re: Chasing "SMOKEY" . . . thumbs upthumbs up

Russo Loco June 18, 2022 07:55PM

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Olaf Rasmussen June 18, 2022 11:55PM

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Greg Scholl June 19, 2022 10:41AM

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Greg Scholl June 19, 2022 10:53AM

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Juergen Rasmussen June 27, 2022 05:10PM

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John C June 27, 2022 07:52PM

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Olaf Rasmussen June 27, 2022 09:57PM

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Greg Scholl June 28, 2022 08:03AM

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trainrider47 June 28, 2022 09:48AM

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John C June 28, 2022 11:24PM

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Olaf Rasmussen June 29, 2022 08:26PM

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