Capital Park: Spoornet (Last modified 2002-Dec-20)

Please click on images to see larger image and a brief description.


Every time I am in South Africa I make my pilgrimage to Capital Park and spend at least one full day meandering around the grounds. Capital Park is where I spent many a weekends just walking around to look over the steam, diesel, and electric locomotives. At one point during the 1980's, the electric depot was also home for some of the e.m.u Metro trainsets.

The Capital Park facility has changed for the better since my last visit during April of 1997. The following images in this section only pertain to the old electric locomotive depot and the goods yards. The former steam and diesel shed has been taken over by Rovos Rail and Friends of the Rail. My photographs for that portion of Capital Park are located on the Capital Park: Rovos Rail and the Capital Park: Friends of the Rail (FOTR) pages.

The Spoornet operated yard at Capital Park is not very busy as compared to what I remember during the mid 1980's. I realize that the nearby classification yard, Sentrarand, has taken away the major sorting duties, but the effect of lost rail traffic is noticeable. No longer do the 8E electrics hum along all day. Times have indeed changed....

Summary of walk through:

My wanderings began at the locomotive depot. I signed in at the main office and made my rounds of the diesel and electric locos parked on the ready tracks.

I then walked (north) down into the yards where I first ventured east up a shunting neck to see some abandoned rolling stock. In the process, I found two 8E electric locos parked. No shunting during this part of the day.

Then I walked straight through the yard from east to west. This covered the entire length of the yard from shunting necks east to shunting necks west. During this walk through, I photographed many different forms of tank wagons. Lighting was far from perfect as the sun was high in the sky.

Eventually, I reached the connection to the main line on the west end of the yard and I then turned east and walked back up to the locomotive depot. I was able to photo one Metro-Rail commuter train while walking back up to the loco depot.

Please note that I have included images that are back-lit and otherwise awful. However, I hope that such images will provide further insight into the trackage layout of Capital Park as the weeds seem to be covering the evidence that this yard was indeed once a busy place.

Yes, I do have one quick snap of steam traction passing by the electric locomotive depot. I heard the steam locos coming at me but I refused to believe what I was hearing was indeed a set of steam locos running light. By the time I snapped out of the state of surprise, I was only able to take a side photograph through a maize patch.

The following images were taken by me during my April 2001 visit to South Africa. All images taken with an Olympus E-10 digital camera.

The first five (5) rows show photographs taken at the locomotive ready tracks. This used to be the electric (only) loco depot.

Class 34 and 36 Diesels snooze in sun with friend 6E1. 6E1 #1716 enjoying the very pleasant weather. EMD, Spoornet Class 36 #279. EMD, Spoornet Class 36 #284.
EMD, Spoornet Class 35 #697. EMD, Spoornet Class 34 #642. West end of locomotive ready tracks. West end of locomotive ready tracks.
West end of locomotive ready tracks. EMD, Spoornet Class 36 #277. 6E1 Electrics arriving. Driver training carriage.
East end of loco depot, looking East. Class 38 #027. Rovos Rails steam locos going east. Class 38 #027.
Class 34 #667. Closer to Class 34 #667. Driver training carriage. East end of shed.

Walking northward and following goods yard lead into the goods yard.

East end of shed complex, north side. Looking into east end of yard. .

While standing on the yard leads, I decided to create something of a panaorama view.

This row is looking west toward the main office.

Looking at East end of shed. Looking at East end of shed. Looking at East end of shed, North side . Looking at East end of shed, North side .

This row is looking east toward the main entrance and auto garage.

Yard lead tracks. Looking at East end of shed. Looking at East end of shed. Looking at East end of shed.

Changing the camera settings to show in a better light the parking garage for the trainmen. Good for keeping the hired car out of the direct sunlight.

Yard lead tracks.

Resuming the walk westward and into goods yards. I decided to follow the main shunting neck eastward to get photographs of the two 8E shunting locos.

Class 8E #072 snoozing. Entering yard east end. Standing on east end shunting neck looking westward. 8Es snoozing.
Class 8E #100.

I spotted some wagons and decided to walk as far eastward as the rails would take me. The land of the weeds can be seen.

East end of yard. Guards Van in the Land of the Weeds. Abandoned box wagon. Weeds!
Abandoned infrastructure. DC overhead power stop notice. Yet another abandoned wagon.

The first photograph is the furthest east that the yard extends to. This is the vary end of the shunting neck. I then walked straight out and into the yard and continued photographing. Goodbye weeds.

Furthest east the rails go. 8E #072 still snoozing in warm sun. Branch from shunting neck going right into north side of yard. Entering yard.
Walking westward. Walking westward. DJ wagon with recycled glass. FGLJ-2 covered hopper wagon.
XVJ-4 tank wagon. FSLJ-3 box wagon. XPJ-7 tank wagon. XPJ-16 tank wagon.
XPJ-7 tank wagon. Looking down the yard, westward. XPJ tank wagon. Solid block of petroleum products.
XPJ-14 tank wagon. Vacuum brakes!. XPJ-20 tank wagon. Reaching the end of the block of tank wagons.
Looking to the right (north) of the previous photo. Shunters office. Shunters office. Shunters office.

Standing in front of the shunters office and looking eastward.

Yard trackage. Points in front of shunters office.

Years ago there was a reason for a foot bridge at the location of a grade crossing! This used to be a busy place and trainmen would walk over the bridge as opposed to crawling under the trains.

Footbridge. Looking westward while standing under the footbridge. This run-around track is Out Of Service.

Land of the Weeds on the west end and the connection to the mainline.

Another shunting neck gone to the weeds. Looking back, the apparatus house is visible to the right. Walking toward the main line. Walking toward the main line.
Yes, there are shunting necks in there, somewhere. Approaching the main line. Looking back. Mind the sun light. Signal.
Yard lead office. Concrete sleepers in turnout. Concrete sleepers in points section of turnout. Looking eastward.
Looking eastward. Looking westward toward signal cabin and wye.

Being alone and I began noticing quite a few trespassers walking the railway line down by the road underpass, I decided to call it quits and I began walking back to the electric loco depot.

Standing on the mainline and looking toward the yard lead office. Standing on the Capital Park station platform. Westbound Metro. Walking up toward electric loco depot and looking back at Captial Park station.
Trackage being removed to the right side of photograph. CR-4 wagon. CR-10 wagon. SFJ-4 long load wagon.
Approaching electric loco depot. Goods train going westward toward Hercules. 6E1-1409 . FGLJ wagon.
West end of long shed . Shop goat. Work in progress.