Bloemfontein was once the mecca of steam in South Africa with 4 lines radiating from this important city. Today two lines have steam, to Kimberley, and to Bethlehem. We will see some outstanding morning action at Kloofeind on the Kimberley line, with a stalled freight at dawn that required a pusher engine, plus several more trains after this spectacle. Then we visit the engine shed to see more 4-8-4's between assignments. In addition to this we get a rare look inside the Bloemfontein Rebuilding Shop, where many steam engines were undergoing rebuilding. We also chase the daily passenger train on the Bethlehem line for a few miles out of Bloemfontein. If all this were not enough we have included a lengthy cab ride in the second engine of a doubleheader on the Bethlehem line. This freight train is ridden from Fouriesburg to Bethlehem in engine 3405, but you see the engine ahead as well as interior shots of the 3405's cab. There is lots to enjoy in this video with informative narration and live audio from 1984.
South African Steam Collection
In 1984 we made a month-long journey to the Republic of South Africa for an adventure shooting regular service steam operations. This was our second trip to this photographers paradise the first being in 1977. Steam in South Africa in 1984 was similar to late 1950's steam in America. It was declining yet there were pockets of great activity and fabulous action. When we photographed these images we had no intent on selling them, therefore there are some flaws, like rough pans, and camera clicks with still camera sounds in the background. These early VHS cameras were not as good as today's equipment of course, and things like color, and sharpness are 1984 technology not 2009. These videos do look better than films, and they have robust natural train sounds that will make you fall in love with South African Steam locomotives. This series was what started us into the railroad video business in 1984, and originally there were 4 hour long videos, without narration, and limited editing. These have not been for sale for several years, but in 2009, our 25th Anniversary, and 25th Anniversary of these videos being made, we have given them a facelift, with proper professional narration, better editing, updated information, and best of all there is more content. In 1984 when these were originally sold we were limited to 60 minute 3/4 inch masters. Instead of 4 hours of content, today these DVD's total nearly 7 hours. Check out the special savings on the set, which is priced nearly $50.00 off the single prices. In 1985 Railfan and Railroad Magazine's editor Jim Boyd stated something to the effect that if you did not like these videos you should not call yourself a steam fan. Remember this is not a fantrip, nor excursion, nor photo special, or festival. This is real everyday steam operations that we captured with live video and audio. If you are expecting state of the art quality, these may not be for you. But, if you love steam and great action, then you may well find these to be your favorite steam videos.