By August 1999 all mainline trains in Zimbabwe were worked by diesel locomotives and the Garratts based in Bulawayo were relegated
to shunting duties in and around Bulawayo and trip workings between the various yards.  Nevertheless there were still numerous
photographic opportunities and a game of 'hide and seek' took place as Steve and I tried to find the locomotives as they criss-crossed
the city.

A good place to start the day was Bulawayo station as the locomotives came into the station to take orders before heading off to the
various shunting yards.  The station buffet also served an amazing 'English Breakfast' - welcome after a dawn start from the guest
house - which featured eggs, bacon, baked beans, sausages, chips and an 8oz steak!  
The footbridge at Bulawayo station
provided an ideal vantage point
from which to watch and
photograph the various comings
and goings.  No.519 has just
arrived from the shed whilst
No.514 takes water from the
station water tank.  To the left are
long lines of empty coaching stock
in the traditional Rhodesian
Railways livery and in the distance
it is just possible to see the roof
and smoke vents of the engine
shed (extreme left - rear)
I was somewhat surprised to
receive this picture in an email.  
The sender told me it had been
sent to him by a former colleague
in the Rhodesian Police Force who
described it as a picture taken
sometime in the 1960's.  The
reason for my surprise (and the
sender's subsequent  
embarrassment ) was that  I
instantly recognised it as one of my
own pictures taken during the 1999

A gentle reminder - all these
pictures are subject to copyright!
One can but dream ........ sadly not
the departure of the next express
working to Harare but in fact
Beyer- Garratt No.514 about to
move empty coaching stock into
the yarda at Bulawayo and release
the diesel locomotive trapped at the
far end of this terminus station
Running with the coal bunker to the
front, Class 15A No.424 - originally
named 'Isilwana' meaning 'Lion' in
the language of the Matabele people
- takes a trip working from
Bulawayo station yards towards
Cold Store yards.
The 4-6-4 + 4-6-4 wheel
arrangement of the 15A class
locomotives can be clearly seen in
this late afternoon shot of Beyer
Garratt No.406 as it stands in
Westgate Yard.  Later in the week
this was one of the engines used to
take the 'Train Deluxe' from
Bulawayo to Victoria Falls
The weather during our first few
days in Bulawayo was somewhat
unsettled making photography a
little difficult - what a great shot
No.424 would have made had its
departure from Mpopoma Yard been
lit by glorious shafts of sunshine!
With the dark rainclouds forming a
threatening backdrop to the scene,
Class 14A 2-6-2 + 2-6-2 Beyer Garratt
No.525 shunts back across Steel Yard
Road in central Bulawayo just a short
distance from the main station
One of my fellow enthusiasts has a
fettish for photographing locomotives
with c
onsecutive numbers - sadly he
wasn't present as Class 15A Nos 421
and 422 took water in Cold Store yard
on the outskirts of Bulawayo
Work pauses as Class 16A No.601
shunts the yards at National Foods
grain store.  The local security
guard seemed totally unconcerned
by the sudden appearance of two
railway photographers hot-footing
it up the track in pursuit of the
engine as it threaded its way
through Bulawayo
Having made up its train of empty
wagons No.601 threads its way
through the industrial area of
Bulawayo on its way out of National
Foods and on towards Mpopoma
The contrast between the smaller Class 14A 2-6-2 + 2-6-2 Garratt and the larger Class 15A 4-6-4 + 4-6-4 Garratt
is clearly demonstrated as No. 519 and No.424 stand side by side whilst taking water at Cold Store.
No.525 works a short freight out of
Bulawayo yards
No.514 crosses Steel Yard road
running light engine back to
Bulawayo station
With two shunters riding on the
buffer beam, Class 14A No.514
sets out from Bulawayo station
yard with a trip freight to Mpopoma.
Built in 1950, Class 15A No.404 was a
notoriously trouble prone engine and
was involved in a number of
accidents including a fatal
derailment  on the Bulawayo to
Victoria Falls line when the
locomotive left the rails and
overturned south of Hwange.  
Repaired and rebuilt the locomotive
was renumbered as No.424 since
when it has led a blameless existence.
No.424 brings a heavy train out of
Mpopoma yard and onto the main
Harare to Bulawayo line
Late afternoon and No.519 takes
water at Cold Store.  This may have
attracted our undivided attention but
the everyday scene is ignored by the
two local inhabitants using the
railway as a short cut across town
No.601 has been busy shunting and
is finally about to make its
departure out of Westgate Lower
Class 14A No.514 entering Bulawayo
station towards the end of the day
The imaginatively named suburb of Cement is the location of ...... a large cement factory!  Naturally it has its own works shunting
engine but this is  not some diminutive 0-6-0 tank engine but a much larger 4-8-2 Henschel.  Now known as Unicem No.1 this is the
former South African Railway's Class 19D No.2695.  The engine was (is?) used to shunt wagons in the yard of the cement works and
due to the orientation of the yard it tended to face in a northerly direction making photography somewhat difficult.
Class 19D 4-8-2 Unicem No.1 shunting
wagons at Cement
Having spent some time watching
the opertaions at Cement it was
fairly clear that the locomotive
shunted wagons around the yard
with the smokebox facing in to the
wagons making a 'classic' train
shot impossible.  A small amount of
goodwill and even smaller amounts
of bribery brought about this shot -
not typical of operations at this
industrial plant
No.1 stands in front of the cement
works while the crew take an extended
lunch break.  Steve and I went in
search of a local bar and inadvertently
walked into an establishment clearly
unused to white faces!  After a brief
moment or two of silence our clearly
English accents broke the ice and we
were soon necking a 'Lion' beer to the
amusement of the local populace.
Bulawayo engine shed
Garratt To Victoria Falls
Wankie Colliery - Hwange
Steam In China
German Narrow Gauge
Steam In Java
Cuban steam
Steam In Poland