P Munro Transport have successfully moved a 160-ton 30m-long GMAM-class Garratt locomotive from Bloemfontein to Ficksburg. It took the mighty movers a day to cover the 210km journey.
In what is believed to be an industry first, the team had to lay rail tracks on one trailer and use it as a ramp to move the locomotive onto the special 19-axle lowbed trailer.
Two Volvo FH16 610 8×6 trucks were tasked to push and haul the massive load to its destination at a farm in Ficksburg.
It was a free spectacle for motorists on N1 and N5 as the lengthy haul negotiated its way to its destination on Wednesday.
The owners, Sandstone Heritage Trust, have a private collection of locomotives and vehicles based at the farm near Ficksburg.
Sandstone marketing manager Dave Richardson said they opted to move the locomotive by road even though there was a railway between the two cities for two reasons.
“We didn’t believe that the railway line between Bloemfontein and Ficksburg was really open for use,” said Richardson. “And even getting to the farm, it would still be 3km from the nearest siding. We would still had to have all these trucks anyway.”
The convoy had to drive a further 20km to Fouriesburg to turn around after missing the turn-off to the farm, Richardson said.