SAR Class 15CA 2040

Builder:    American Locomotive Company
Year:          1926
Builders Number: 66987

Although not one of our first choices when confronted with the list from Transnet, it soon became an item of interest when I conducted my visit to Millsite in May of 2018. Built in 1926 by Alco works number 66987 as part of the original order of 23 locomotives it has obviously had modifications made to it over its lifetime.

The most obvious is the front end regulator! Common among USA locomotives, but not so within the 15CA class being one of only 3 examples left in existence; the other two being 2041, and 15CB 2077.

Like all of the locomotives still resting at Millsite 2040 has been the victim of both scavengers, (other rail groups), souvenir hunters and scrap metal thieves. The list of parts required is extensive to bring this locomotive back to her former glory, but bring her back we will!

In the same vein as West Coast Rail in Australia produced a “Super Hudson” in former Victorian Railway “R” 711, we will make improvements to 2040 that will make her able to perform to a standard to hopefully take full advantage of the main line across South Africa.

As 2040 does not have a grate at the moment and with restrictions in place for coal fired locomotives it naturally follows that she should be converted to be fired on recycled engine oil. Enquiries have already been made to the feasibility of this conversion and it is intended that this will occur.

Next will be the fitting of a Lempor front end. Little exists of the original front end necessitating the production of a blast pipe, cap, and petticoat in any case. The improvements to drafting and performance are well documented on R711 and the Red Devil so this is seen as a natural progression for this locomotive to follow this path.

Modifications will also be made to the tender. An oil tank will be fitted to the coal bunker with the ability to fill it from ground level, as will the filling of the water be also at ground level. An auxilary tender will be constructed from one of the many surplus tenders at Millsite destined to the scrappers torch. Both the main and auxiliary tender will be fitted with roller bearing axle boxes.