Vintage South African Railway diesel traction. SAR Class 32-000 diesel locomotives, built by General Electric as type U18C1, 32-021 & 32-094, represent 2 examples of a total of 115 of this class, that entered service with South African Railways around 1960 to work exclusively in South West Africa. These two were stored in a disused Goods Shed in Ladysmith after being withdrawn from service (during the 1990s) for a few years (many hoped this was for preservation purposes), until early in 2014 when they were auctioned off – supposedly as scrap metal. Some excerpts from Col. André Kritzinger’s Wikipedia (the free online encyclopedia) research on the South African locomotives: “In the United States of America the South African Class 32-000 is credited with being a major factor in the demise of the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) and the rise of GE in the locomotive building business. In the late 1950s South Africa, at the time one of the last bastions of steam traction, planned to embark on a massive dieselisation program. An SAR technical team was sent to Europe and to the United States to prepare an assessment of design alternatives, finalise specifications and compile a list of qualified bidders. In the United States only ALCO, General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD) and GE were considered to be qualified bidders. The SAR was not very enthusiastic about two-stroke cycle engines and had a strong preference for ALCO's Model 251 engine and GE's transmission systems. As a prior supplier of steam locomotives for the SAR, ALCO appeared to be virtually assured of receiving the order. The SAR's tender for bid was issued in 1957, with two options: One hundred and fifteen units of a 1,800 horsepower (1,300 kilowatts) locomotive with a 1Co+Co1 wheel arrangement; or
Two hundred and thirty units of a 1,000 horsepower (750 kilowatts) locomotive with a Co+Co wheel arrangement. These units were intended for operation in South West Africa (SWA), now Namibia, under very light rail conditions which necessitated lighter axle loadings that could not be achieved with conventional Co bogies under a heavy locomotive. General Steel Castings had a design on paper for a 1Co bogie (a Co bogie with a pony truck) which could be utilised by either ALCO or GE and which would enable the SAR's specification to be met for the heavier 1,800 horsepower (1,300 kilowatts) units. The SAR made it clear that, despite the two options afforded by the tender, its strong preference was for a 1Co+Co1 locomotive. However, the use of a pony truck was not universally accepted by ALCO's engineering management. The result was that ALCO bid on only the Co+Co option and lost out to GE, who had bid on both options. In South Africa, this virtually opened the floodgates for GE since more than half of the SAR’s vast diesel-electric locomotive fleet that was acquired between 1959 and 1981 were GE products.” Read more about this South African class of locomotive (and all others) on Wikipedia "List Of South African Locomotive Classes".
Rare South African photographs (older and newer) on RailPictures.Net, where the potential to recreate them either no longer exists for any number of reasons, or the chances of another opportunity are very slim or non existent!