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Videos and DVDs

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The Train DVDs are sorted as per headings below.

Note there is a page dedicated to Train DVDs of South Africa

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South African Railways 150 Years 1860-2011
Product code: VR81
Double DVD - R250.00

This presentation complements the book "Railways of Southern Africa 150" (see literature page) also published by Vidrail, but this video programme has also been configured to be equally viewed on its own. The two part DVD commences with a review of the ancient steam locomotives of the very first standard gauge railway companies in the Cape and Natal colonies. Next, follows the development of steam motive power under the various regional governments in South Africa. This was a consequence after the decision, taken in 1875, to continue railway construction according to a narrower track gauge, namely the so called "Cape" (1067mm). The main operations took place under the Cape, Natal and Transvaal government railway administrations (CGR, NGR and NZASM). The latter, together with the Orange Free State railway, were operated by the Central South African Railways or CSAR after the end of the Anglo-Boer War, in 1902.

Following amalgamation of the previous four regional governments into the Union of South Africa in 1910, all the regional railways were further consolidated into the South African Railways or SAR. This state transport organisation has recently been restructured and is now known as Transnet, with the railways arm now called Transnet Freight Rail (TFR; previously called Spoornet). The commuter passenger operation systems have also been separated now and operate under the name "Metrorail". In addition, this review has a look at some private and provincial systems, such as various mining operations and the recently opened Gautrain Rapid Rail Link.

The SAR and Transnet locomotive classes featured are as follows (both through static records or video sequences, wherever possible):

Steam: Classes A to K, 1 to 26, S to S2, KM, MA to MJ, GA to GO, FD, FC, HF, U,
NG1 to NGG16 and also various unclassed locomotives prior 1910
Diesel: Classes DS, 31 to 43, 61 and 91
Electric: Classes ES, 1E to 19E
Electric Multiple Units (EMU): 1M to 10M series

The presentation also features much by way of fascinating archive movie film action, as well as more recent general video reviews of both steam and modern trains in operation around the country. This 360 minute double disc programme, therefore, provides one of the best balanced and broadest coverage of the railway scene in the country, both past and present.

Steam Fever

Frameline Television
Product code: FRA01

60 min

A detailed review of the South African steam scene, with emphasis on the De Aar to Kimberley line, the class 25NCs and the “Red Devil”, the railwaymen, enthusiasts and scenery. This is a superbly professional documentary that has appeared on National TV in South Africa in abridged format. This is the full length version that captures the essence of South African steam in its final glory years and a must for enthusiast and interested viewer alike.

The Great South African Steam Train Festival 1989
SA Railways Northern Cape Region

Goodheart Productions
Product code: GP6

World Class Trains
The Blue Train
Product code: PEGDVD1130

World Class Trains
Rovos Rail
The pride of Africa
Product code: PEGDVD1226

The Sandstone Chronicles
Uncovering Heritage Treasure with the Sandstone Heritage Trust

Product code: SHT06

120 min

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sandstone Railway, producers Frameline made up this detailed programme of all the restored locomotives that are in service at the farm in reference format. There is also coverage of a tour in September 2004 along the Apple Express route out of Port Elizabeth with an NG15, which was especially transported 650 km from Sandstone. A pocket book is also available.

The Blue Train
Product code: TM1

Compilation (1972 -2001)

90 min

This programme commences with an archive film dealing with concept, construction and commissioning of the new upgraded Blue Train in the early seventies, and is followed by an update video made some years later. It is updated with Vidrail footage from 1989 onwards featuring the new class 12E units, the Blue Train steam “shunt” in Pretoria, and three unique and rare main line steam runs.

This video has been further updated in 1998 and 1999 with new sequences covering the refurbished (1997) Blue Train.

The Shimmer of Steel
1991 – 1998

Product code: VR50


This programme complements the book by Dennis Moore "The Shimmer of Steel", distributed by Chris van Rensburg Publications, a celebration of the final years of steam in South Africa in the 1990s. The action sequences in the video may be closely identified within chapters of the book, although his presentation may also be enjoyed in its own right. This programme has proved to be our most popular title to date. More than 30 different classes of steam locomotives are featured.

The Magic Hours
Sunrise, sunset revealing gleaming steam trains in vivid colours. Locomotives shown in action frequently exhibit long steam and smoke trails.

The Devil and His Sisters
Featuring the Red Devil (No. 3450) and class 25NCs, as well as other visitors (classes 16E, 15CA, 15F, 25C) on the "Steam Racetrack" - Kimberley to De Aar - Main Line.

Mountain Vistas
The scenic railway lines in the Free State, Eastern and Western Cape feature prominently in this section with special and tour trains.

Transvaal Traveller
Special steam runs, the Trans Karoo, coal mines, preserved operations and a host of differing locomotive classes.

A World in One Branch Line
The preserved railway between George and Knysna. Its lakes, sea scapes and forests are subject of this section.
Precious Metal

The steam operations on the gold and platinum mines in the Free State and former Transvaal are covered here.
Southern Stalwarts

A large number of unusual and interesting trains and locomotive classes in the southern part of the country are reviewed. This has been our best selling programme to date.

The Union Limited 2000
Double M - Millennium Magic
Maluti and Mountains

Product code: VR58


In 2000 Union Limited Tours operated three major tours, the Maluti, the Classic Mountains and a charter for the Railway Touring Group from UK. A variety of exciting routes are rendered here, covering the highlights of each tour. As usual we bring the viewer a balanced mixture of lineside action, on board footage, run pasts and plenty of scenery in all of 6 provinces.

Amongst the locomotive classes shown in action are the following:

Classes 7A, 7B, 12AR, 14CRB, 15F, 16D/DA, 16E, 19D, 19B, 23, 24, 25NC, 26, GEA, GF, GL, GMA, GO

The major routes covered are as follows:

Cape Town – Worcester (including the Ceres branch): Worcester – Ashton - Swellendam

Voorbaai – George – Knysna – Oudtshoorn – Willowmore; Graaff-Reinet – Middelburg – Colesburg – Springfontein – Bloemfontein – Kimberley; Redan – Pretoria – Witbank – Waterval Boven.

The Union Limited Maluti
Steam Hauled Rail Tours 2001

Product code: VR64


The two Union Limited long distance tour trains comprised 15 day trips that operated late July and August. Essentially round trips to Port Elizabeth and back, the tours each managed one final steam ascent over Lootsberg Pass, now destined to be indefinitely closed by Spoornet. The presentation features the first week of the second tour and Lootsberg Pass on both trips. The following routes and motive power feature in detail:

Cape Town - Dal Josafat Class 15F George – Oudtshoorn Class 24 + GL
Dal Josafat - Wolseley Class 15F + 25NC Oudtshorrn – Willowmore Class 24 + 19D
Wolseley - Ceres Class 19D Bethesda Road – Rosmead Class 19B + GMA
Worcester -Swellendam Class 15A + GO Patensie – Loerie Class NGG 16
Albertinia - Hartenbos Class GO + GL Swellendam – Ashton Class GF + GO
Hartenbos - Groot Brak River Class GEA Worcester – Cape Town Class 16D + 16DA
Hartenbos - George Class GO + GL
Montagu Pass – mixed train Class GL
George - Knysna Class 19D + GO

The Union Limited Hantam
Steam Hauled Rail Tours 2002

Product code: VR69


The two Union Limited “Hantam” tours were run in July and August 2002. In this presentation we feature highlights from both trips which covered identical routes with similar motive power. In total the whole itinerary is eventually featured this way, and, in view of difficulties currently prevailing with operating steam along extended routes, these were the final trips we can enjoy along such traditional Spoornet main and branch lines with the Union Limited.

The routes comprised segments along the scenic branch to Caledon and Bredasdorp (the most southerly rail head in Africa); the Porterville branch; journeys along the southern Cape coast and the little Karoo; a portion of the narrow gauge line out of Port Elizabeth and finally the entire length of the branch to Bitterfontein during Namaqualand wild flower season.

The following classes of steam locomotives are featured:

15F, 19B, 19D, 24, 25NC, 26, GEA, GF, GMA, GO & NGG16

The Union Limited Steam Rail Tours
Cape Branches & Indian Ocean LTD 2002

Product code: VR70


Here we find two tours combined in one video; both were charters for UK based tour groups. The first, for the Northhumbria travel group, comprised short haul routes in the Western Cape over some 10 days. We feature the following highlights with both the main tour train and mixed freights.

Cape Town – Simonstown: Class 16D / Worcester – Ashton: Class 26 / Wolseley – Prince Alfred Hamlet: Class 19D

Hermon – Porterville: 19D Doubleheaded / Malmesbury – Berg River: Class GF / Malmesbury – Graafwater: Class 19D & 15F

The second tour, "Indian Ocean Limited", was organised for the Railway Touring Company, and was named in view of the largely east coast routes between Cape Town and Maputo in southern Mocambique. Hence, apart from the well established routes in the Western, Southern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, this steam safari broke new ground with an odessy along the North Coast line from Durban to Gollela, through Swaziland and then on to Maputo. The group finished this tour in Pretoria. The routes and motive power are as follows:

Cape Town – Dal Josafat: Class 16D / Dal Josafat – Ashton: Class 26 / George – Oudtshoorn: Classes 19C & GMA

Oudtshoorn – Miller: Classes 19C & 19B / Colesburg – Bloemfontein: Class 25NC / Sandstone Estates: Classes NG6 & NGG16

Pietermaritzburg – Donnybrook: Class GF / Pietermaritzburg – Albert Falls: Class 3BR / Durban – Gollela – Mpaka – Maputo: Classes 19D, GF, GMA / Pretoria – Cullinan: Class 19D

South African Railways Class 25s
The Final Years 1989-2004

Product code: VR72

DVD 2 disc programme, 240 minutes

Perhaps no other steam locomotive on the South African Cape gauge system has inspired as much awe and interest amongst enthusiasts as the massive class 25 4-8-4s. Introduced at a late stage of the steam era in the early 1950s (when many countries were already moving to diesel traction) 140 of these locomotives saw active service well into the late 1980s. In fact these 4-8-4 were larger and heavier than many equivalent steam locomotives that were operating around Europe on the broader standard gauge tracks.

In this presentation we cover the final years of regular steam on the SA railways from 1989 to preserved operations that still took place as late as 2004. This leads to a review of why so few of these successful modern steam giants are still running today, eventhough smaller and more ancient classes such as 19Ds and 15F 4-8-2s dominate the current preservation scene around the country.

Enthusiasts who visited South Africa during the last 30 years have, no doubt, fond memories of the Kimberley to de Aar double track main line, which was dominated by these class 25s since the 1960s. What has happened in recent years?

We review the technical features of the class 25C (condensing class) and the non condensing version (25NC). Well known locomotives are shown in action: numbers 3511, 3467, 3496, 3454, 3476, 3404, 3407, 3411, 3441, 3484, 3410, 3472, 3417 and, of course, the converted class 26, No 3450, amongst others. Guest appearances of various other classes, which featured on double headed operations, include classes 15F, 16DA, 16E, 19D and 23. Most of these locomotives are currently owned by the Transnet Heritage Foundation.

Apart from the Cape Northern system, operations on the Bethlehem, Klerksdorp, Rand and Western Cape regions are reviewed over the given period. Who can forget the double headed Trans Karoo express trips in the 1990s, No 3410 in Zimbabwe in 2001, special 25NC freights on the de Aar line or No 3450 along the scenic Free State and Western Cape routes?

We also recommend our earlier programme series covering regular class 25 steam in the Northern Cape and Free State during the 1980s as supplementary viewing.

Steam Loco Safari Tours Drakensberg Explorer Steam Tour South Africa 2005

Product code: VR73

240 min

This South Africa enthusiasts’ tour in May 2005 was very successfully run by David Rodgers in 4 provinces, largely by way of local steam preservation groups and the THF in George.

In review the following:

Krugersdorp – Magaliesburg: Classes 12AR, 14R, 15F / Springs – Bethal: 12AR, 15F / Cullinan: 19D, 24

Sandstone Estates: NG6, NG15, NGG13, NGG16 / Pinetown - Cato Ridge: 3BR / Pietermaritzburg – Dalton: GF /

Ixopo: NGG11 / Creighton – Donnybrook: 19D / Port Shepstone: NGG16 / George – Knysna: 7A, 19B

Oudtshoorn – George – Camfer: GO, GEA

Steam Loco Safari Tours Drakensberg Explorer II 2006

Product code: VR77

3 disc DVD set 300 minutes

This presentation covers the 18 day steam tour to South Africa from the 21st May to 7th June 2006. This tour group, lead by David Rodgers, has operated enthusiasts’ rail tours to the country since the mid 1990s.

This year, as the name implies, a sequel to the highly successful 2005 tour was organised. Although some routes and locomotive classes were identical to those featured in 2005, there were some notable differences; in all, some 11 classes of steam locomotives saw service:

Krugersdorp – Magaliesburg Classes 12AR & 15F 4-8-2s
Springs – Bethal Classes 12AR & 15F 4-8-2s
Springs – Bethlehem - Ficksburg Classes 15F 4-8-2 & 25NC 4-8-4
Pietermaritzburg – Thornville Class GF 4-6-2 + 2-6-4
Pietrmaritzburg – Donnybrook – Creighton – Riverside Classes GF 4-6-2 + 2-6-4 & 19D 4-8-2
Ixopo Class NGG11 2-6-0 + 0-6-2
George – Knysna line Classes 7A 4-8-0 , 19B 4-8-2 & 24 2-8-4
George – Outeniqua Class GEA 4-8-2 + 2-8-4
Camfer – Oupad Class GMA 4-8-2 + 2-8-4
Snyberg – ToorwaterClass 19D 4-8-2

This programme covers the tour from start to finish, and from a well-balanced perspective, namely most photographic runbys, lineside footage, servicing stops and varied sequences from on board the train, which provide stunning views of varied scenery in all of five provinces.

The Great 1991 South African Steam Festival

Product code: VR79

240 min

This follows on from VR 1 (1991 part 1) and focuses on the 1991 Kimberley to De Aar steam festival of July 1991, and a subsequent review of steam on this line until the end of 1991.

In addition we have:

‘Brush with Steam’ tour to the Eastern Transvaal
Witbank Coal Mines
Magaliesburg, Trans Karoo, Cullinan, Pretoria, Germiston, Bloemfontein operations (steam and modern traction)
Randfontein Estates, Welkom Mines
Sishen – Saldanha heavy haul ore line

Steam Loco Safari Tours 2007 The Three Provinces

Product code: VR80

The 2007 steam tour by David Rodgers, who has organised such safaris regularly from the UK since the 1990s, was destined to possibly be the final such tour to South Africa. This trip, operated between 26th May and 9th June, 2007 encompassed both narrow gauge and Cape gauge visits and excursions within the three provinces of the title: Free State, kwaZulu Natal and Gauteng.

The Free State route featured the scenic main line between Bethlehem and Ficksburg, using no less than three different locomotives operated by the Reefsteamers group and the 610mm narrow gauge system at Sandstone Estates, with three types of steam locomotives.

The routes in kwaZulu Natal comprised the operations around the Sisonke Stimela steam preservation centre at Creighton and two types of steam locomotives, including a Garratt. Then, a day at another narrow gauge centre at Ixopo, Patons Country Railway and finally two days on local excursions around Pietermaritzburg, with another Garratt.

The last two days in Gauteng comprised the Pretoria – Rayton – Cullinan route, employing one Reefsteamers’ locomotive and one from Friends of the Rail group.

The details of the routes and locomotives featured in this four hour programme are as follows:

Bethlehem to Ficksburg Classes 15CA and 15F, 4-8-2 and Class 25NC 4-8-4
Sandstone Estates Classes NG4 4-6-2, NG15 2-8-2 and Class NGG13 2-6-2 + 2-6-2
Creighton – Donnybrook –
Deepdale and Class GMAM 4-8-2+ 2-8-4 and Creighton – Riverside Class 19D 4-8-2
Ixopo – Carisbrooke Class NGG 11 2-6-0 + 0-6-2
Pietermaritzburg – Albert Falls Class GF 4-6-2 + 2-6-4
Pietermaritzburg – Arnolds Hill Class GF 4-6-2 + 2-6-4
Pretoria – Rayton – Cullinan Class 24 2-8-4 and Class 15CA 4-8-2

Geoffs Trains - South African Steam Tours 2009-2010

Product code: VR82

This programme covers the two tours operated by Geoff’s Trains during May 2009 and May 2010. Both narrow and Cape gauge are adequately represented within these excursions and we also bring the viewer additional sequences from regular day trips operated by both the Friends of the Rail and Reefsteamers steam preservation groups.

In order to feature the content rapidly and uninterrupted, no narration has been provided with this programme. The DVD menu subdivides the various sections as detailed below:

1 – Sandstone Estates 2009 Featuring narrow gauge classes NG4, No16; NG 6, Nos 97 & 106; NG15, No 17; NGG13, No 49 and NGG16, No 153

2 – Apple Express 2009 A four day excursion from Port Elizabeth, Patensie and Assegaaibosch with class NG 15, No 119

3 – Day trips in 2010 with Reefsteamers class 25NC, No 3472; 12AR, No 1535 and Friends of the Rail class 15F, 3117

4 – Geoff’s Trains 2010 depot visits to Friends of the Rail and Reefsteamers featuring classes 19D No 2650 12AR No 1535, 24 No 3664 15F No 3046, 15F No 3117 25NC No 3472

5 – Sandstone Estates 2010 Featuring narrow gauge classes NG4, No 6; NG6, Nos 97 & 106; NGG13, No 49; NG15, No 17 and NGG16, No 88; also Feldbahn 0-8-0T

6 – Sisonke Stimela – kwaZulu Natal – Donnybrook/Creighton/Riverside Classes 19D, No 2669 and GMAM, No 4074

7 – Patons Country narrow gauge – Ixopo Class NGG11, No 55 and ex sugar estates Avonside tank engine

8 – Apple Express four day excursion from Port Elizabeth to Hankey and Assegaaibosch; class NG6, No 106 (to van Stadens) and class NG15, No 119, main trip.

The Romance of Steam Part Two
The Last Run
Product code: