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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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    • WOW!!! That’s amazing news, Pamela. Thank you so much for taking the time to find the article. Aren’t those snow-capped peaks in the article’s photograph spectacular? No wonder so many Hollywood Blockbuster movies are being shot in Haka-land. Regards, Andre’

    • I was never an enthusiast when I was young but it seems, that as we grow older, we tend to mellow and become more tolerant and appreciative of old enduring technologies. Every country ought to have a Smithsonian Institute of sorts, do you agree? Thanks for commenting. Regards, Andre’

    • I agree with you Carol, there is a certain kind of majestic grandeur and also a simplicity in their appearance. They also offer a broad view, of what life was like a hundred or more years ago. Thanks for reading and commenting. Regards, Andre’

    • It sure is Pamela, I wonder if your famous Kingston Flyer still runs? What a fabulous pencil sketch that would make, steam billowing in front of the clear and cloudless morning sun. Mmm! I have not sketched for 20 years and miss it a lot, (circulation not too great at 68) Regards, Andre’

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