Our steaming lady “Susan” turns 100
Susan is a Class 12AR No.1535 Reefsteamer’ who turned 100. She currently, as of 2019 has the triple distinction of being the last surviving SAR Class 12AR type locomotive; and is Reefsteamers’ oldest operating locomotive. Susan is also the oldest locomotive of any kind still in operation on an active main line in South Africa. Susan the 12AR also has the engineering distinction of possessing the last working ‘Loubser Boiler.’
‘She weights 101 tons, pulls a 67-ton tender and has a total of 14 wheels comprising of four small wheels in front on a pivoted bogie, eight coupled driving wheels and two smaller pivoted wheels supporting the firebox. This makes Susan the 12AR a 4-8-2, which is known as the ‘Mountain’ wheel configuration.
‘Susan’ was originally built as a Class 12A by North British (Glasgow, Scotland) in 1919 and shipped to South Africa. The brand-new locomotive first entered traffic on 15 March 1920. Congratulations! gracious lady, and may you tarry, steaming ahead for us steam-hearts for another century.
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