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Offline ShannonN  
#1 Posted : 05 January 2019 09:47:57(UTC)

Joined: 14/08/2016(UTC)
Posts: 485
Location: Maryborough, Qld

In the last episode of the Restoration series, the day we all have been waiting for has finally arrived. The mighty Red Devil makes its return to the rails after being in storage for almost fifteen years. The restoration crew do final checks and adjustments, including setting the safety valves, reverser and attending to a number of steam leaks. Once the roadworthy is complete the locomotive departs for its journey back to Cape Town. Western Cape, South Africa.

Músic by e-soundtrax: http://bit.ly/2CCbCAB ***

South African Class 26, No 3450 affectionately known as the Red Devil originally started life as a standard class 25 Non-condenser built by Henschel in 1953, works number 28769.

The class initially suffered a number of teething problems with their connecting rod bearings and valve gear. This lead to a redesign of the cross-heads and the fitment of larger bearings from other manufacturers.

The NCs soon went on to prove themselves as some of South Africa's most capable and reliable mainline steam locomotives with many seeing service well into the early 1990's. They still considered one of the largest non-articulated narrow gauge steam locomotives ever built.

Political motivations, strategic locomotive reserve or the looming oil crisis are a discussion for another time and place. I believe it worth mentioning that the Red Devil existence can almost exclusively be attributed to David Wardale, Livio Porta and the many workshop and footplate personnel that took interest in the project and not necessarily the SAR.

Wardale's work was met with a fair amount of resistance from the SAR hierarchy with many believing the project to be a waste of time and money on traction that they already considered obsolete. Many also believed that steam had reached its full potential and weren't keen to accept that their own work could be improved upon. If it wasn't for Wardales's rather ask for forgiveness than permission approach the project most likely would have seen untimely demise.

With that being said the Red Devil wasn't perfect, prototypes seldom are, but it proved the principles were sound and the hope was that it would lead to the development of entirely new class designed from the ground up deploying those principles.

Despite the time and effort invested in its creation, the Red Devil was simply too complicated and soon fell out of favour with maintenance and footplate crews. Many of which simply refused to learn how to operate it correctly and this quickly lead to a false perception that the locomotive was a poor performer and no better than a standard 25NC.

With Wardale leaving the SAR and nobody to look after it, crews took upon themselves to remove many of the modification some of which were specially manufactured. There are however a number of structural modification that could not be removed and these are still visible on the locomotive today.

Wardale's book is a must-read for any serious enthusiast, if not for the story, read it for the truth. The improvements done during its conversion ultimately lead to 28% coal saving, 30% water saving and a 43% increase in drawbar power. During its peak, the Red Devil had a maximum power output of 5030 hp at 100km/h.

3450 has been in storage for nearly two decades but has now been leased by Ceres Rail Company that have moved the locomotive to Worcester for restoration. Western Cape, South Africa.

List of improvements.

- Lempor exhaust.
- Addition of ten super heater flues and elements.
- Larger super heater header salvage from GMA.
- Feed water heater.
- Lengthened smokebox.
- Improved cylinder and valve lining lubrication system.
- Piston valves.
- Articulated valve spindles.
- Valve liner cooling system.
- Streamlined steam ports.
- Herdner starting valves.
- Altered Walschaerts valve gear.
- Enlarged steam chests.
- Improvement steam pipes
- Improved pistons
- Improved piston and valve rod packings.
- Improved insulation.
- Variable stroke lubricator drive.
thanks 3 users liked this useful post by ShannonN
Offline ShannonN  
#2 Posted : 05 January 2019 09:51:18(UTC)

Joined: 14/08/2016(UTC)
Posts: 485
Location: Maryborough, Qld

RED DEVIL SAR CLASS 26 3450 STEAMS AGAIN from WORCESTER to UNITY station in Cape Town harbour (2018) [South Africa].

The Locomotive was running light to Cape Town after a period of restoration work done for Ceres Rail Company at Worcester by the Voorbaai team managed by Bobby Rudman. The locomotive's first revenue run will start on 13 July 2018.

More details:
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#3 Posted : 05 January 2019 11:10:30(UTC)

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 17,352
Location: New Zealand
Merged both topics - we only need one thread opened for what is essentially the same topic.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Bigdaddynz
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